What's even slicker than a Fisker Karma? Fraudsters.

Patient purchasers are finally taking delivery of the first Karmas to roll off the line, but not everyone is receiving everything they expected. A group of Florida investors put up $4.5 million for a stake in the plug-in hybrid company, and now has nothing to show for it.

It doesn't appear that Fisker Automotive itself has any responsibility for the missing stock. What allegedly happened is that the investors channeled their money to equity firm CEO John Mattera. According to the investors, Mattera promised them preferred Fisker shares, but after the money was supposedly put into escrow to await completion of the deal, it vanished. Now, the investors are left with neither the money nor the shares they say they were promised.

For Mattera's part, he claims that the investors have it wrong. He admits that he never had access to the preferred shares, and blames his associaties with misrepresenting the deal. Instead, Mattera says that he was trying to sell ordinary shares in Fisker. Only, the investors don't seem to have recieved those shares, either.

The matter will be settled in court, as the group of investors is suing Mattera, his firm, and his associates. Mattera has previously faced charges from the FEC for making false statements to drive up the price of stocks, and he's been the subject of series of lawsuits over fraudulent deals similar to the one involving the Fisker shares.

We repeat, from the initial news reports, Fisker Automotive doesn't appear to have been involved in, or even aware of, this deal in any way.

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