Boca-Based Online Vitaman Retailer Going Public; Founder Has Checkered Past

Wayne F. Gorsek owns 31 percent of vitacost.com, and that might make Nasdaq investors a little queasy. After all, the SEC won a judgment against Gorsek and two associates in 2002, after accusing them of fraudulently promoting microcap companies in exchange for cash and stock. So in advance of an initial public offering for the company Gorsek founded, Vitacost.com, he's in the awkward position of having to distance the company from himself.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Gorsek is selling 2.35 million shares of the company, reducing his stake to 17 percent. From today's article:

Trimming his stake in the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company isn't the only step Gorsek needed to take to soothe Nasdaq. The company can only go public and continue to list on the exchange as long as Gorsek stays away from the executive suite, according to the company's prospectus. The founder, who stepped down as CEO in 2007, is prohibited from acting as an executive or director under Nasdaq's conditions for the company's listing.

Yet the prospectus, which you can find here, concedes the next problem -- minimizing Gorsek's role in the company when it's evident that the company owes much of the growth its had since its 1994 creation to Gorsek's leadership.

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