Basil Couvaras runs the Atlanta Bread Company with his brother Jerry. Both of them faced a case for defrauding 2000 investors in South Africa. They were on the radar of Interpol at the time.
Basil tries to make sure he doesn’t get the limelight. However, he has been driving Atlanta Bread Co. into ruin as its COO.
The following report covers how Basil Couvaras has been mismanaging the fast food chain. And why he might not be best suited for the role:
Who is Basil Couvaras?
Basil Couvaras is the VP and COO of Atlanta Bread Company. He became the COO of the food chain in 1995. Jerry Couvaras is the CEO of Atlanta Bread Company and is the brother of Basil Couvaras.
It’s still difficult to determine how Basil reached the position of COO in that company. That’s because the Auffenbergs who founded the company in 1993 had filed a lawsuit against the Couvaras brothers in 1999. The lawsuit was for wrongful takeover.
Basil and Jerry settled that lawsuit and had to pay millions to Auffenbergs for 15 years. Also, Basil Couvaras has been a center of controversy for years. He and his brother were suspected to be pivotal in an investment fraud in South Africa.
Both of them deny these allegations but they had to settle the case of fraud and banking violation. Basil even pled guilty of violating the Banks Act as part of the settlement agreement.
Basil Couvaras’ Horrible $74 Million Scam From South Africa
Basil Couvaras and Jerry Couvaras made headlines in 2004 for defrauding nearly 2000 South African investors. Together, they had to pay $310,000 in court to settle that case.
Basil Couvaras has tried his best to bury this news. Interpol suspected that Basil and Jerry were behind two investment companies that went into liquidation in 1993. Basil’s brother even had to surrender his Greek passport because of the arrest.
Interpol was looking for these brothers for committing security fraud. The estimated loss their fraudulent activities had caused was worth $74 million.
Interpol even went into a deal with another organization called A.R. International to catch Basil and Jerry Couvaras. The agreement required Interpol to pay10% of the losses to A.R. International for assisting them in finding Jerry and Basil.
Basil claims he had done nothing wrong like any culprit does. However, he and his brother pled guilty in court and as a part of their agreement the fraud charges were dropped.
If Basil Couvaras was really innocent, he wouldn’t have needed to settle the case. After all, he could have won if he was innocent. Settling the case and pleading guilty only shows that Basil Couvaras had taken part in the suspected activities.
What’s worse is that Basil tried to bury this news from the public eye. He used various unethical business tactics to ensure no one heard about the 2004 lawsuit. That’s what prompted me to write this column.
Large corporations use various methods to bury any truth that exposes their reality. Basil Couvaras tried to hide the truth by lies and deception. You’ll learn more as you’ll read on.
First, I must talk about the professional skills of Basil Couvaras:
Basil Couvaras and His Poor Leadership
Atlanta Bread Company used to be a strong brand in the US. But that was at least a decade ago.
They were among USA’s fastest-growing franchises. The deli and bakery chain tripled in size by 2004 and was spread in 170 locations across the country.
However, that was their peak. Since then, the company’s growth has been dwindling.
Nearly 50% of the 66 US Small Business Administration supported loans given to Basil’s franchisees since 2001 failed by 2011. Why? Because the franchise’s leadership didn’t care much about the company itself.
In 2011, Atlanta Bread Co. was #11 on SBA’s website of 25 worst-performing large franchises. Also, the firm caused a loss of $5 million to the US government because of its failed loans.
Remember that Basil Couvaras and Jerry Couvaras aren’t the original founders of the company. They took over the company from the founders.
So, they didn’t know much about the franchising industry. In the initial years of their management, they handed out franchises like cookies. They didn’t check the locations nor the people they were making franchisees. The only thing they cared about was racking up the numbers. Maybe their goal was to impress the investors, who knows?
Their hasty decisions bit them back a few years later. Since 1999, Atlanta Bread Co. has been shrinking rapidly. From having 170 locations in 1999, they reduced to having 74 locations in 2011. By November 2020, this number went down further and now they only have 18 restaurant locations.
Should Basil Resign?
Basil is responsible for Atlanta Bread Company’s growth as the Chief Operating Officer of the company. He’s been running the firm with his brother for more than two decades. Yet, their company has only shrunk under their leadership.
Moreover, the multi-million fraud case doesn’t help Basil’s case anymore.
The guy pled guilty for breaking the law and paid a 6-figure fine. That’s not all. His company is also notorious for harassing franchisees and forcing them to hand over their franchise to the organization.
Maybe it would be better for Basil Couvaras to hand over the reins to someone else. Someone apart from his partner in crime, his brother Jerry Couvaras.
Burying The Hideous Truth With Beautiful Lies
Like I mentioned earlier, Basil didn’t want anyone to find out about his multi-million fraud. However, you can’t hide everything from the public eye.
Many news outlets caught wind of the story and published it.
Because Basil wanted to bury this news he started using unethical business practices. His PR company sent fake DMCA notices to publishers. This forced many news websites to take down the story from theri network.
These include the likes of FrachiseTimes and Entrepreneur.
What they did was illegal and they could face some serious charges.
Fake DMCAs are a common problem in the online publication industry. It’s a favorite tactic among scammers because it allows them to bury the voices of their victims. Basil Couvaras isn’t the only fraudster who uses fake DMCAs to bury any article that shows him in bad light.
Sam Ovens is another notorious online scammer who uses this tactic. He has removed many client reviews and complaints by sending fake DMCA notices.
Problem of Fake DMCAs
Basil Couvaras’ PR team or lawyers had posed as a news journalist to bury a piece about his $5.54 million scam. It was a clear case of identity theft. The journalist wasn’t aware of the DMCA notice at all.
DMCA takedown requests are for legitimate copyright holders to control their content. However, large corporations and executives such as Basil Couvaras abuse this system.
Google has been facing this problem for years. There are bots on the internet that are filing auto-generated takedowns for their clients.
Another unethical tactic such high-level scammers use to spend a lot of money on paid PR. This includes promotional articles, interviews, fake reviews, and sponsored videos. These techniques allow them to bury negative news and reviews from the audience.
For example, Eddy Aladin is a serial scammer who spends a lot of money on self-promotion. Basil Couvaras uses a different tactic but his aim is the same.
There are many flaws in Basil Couvaras. The guy lies and deceives to bury any news that puts him in a bad light. He had to settle numerous lawsuits because of his wrongdoings.
No one knows what he’ll do next. What are your thoughts on this report? Share them in the comment section below.
Basil Couvaras overtook Atlanta Bread Company as its COO in 1995. He has only driven the company down. Basil pled guilty to a banking violation in 2004 and even tried to bury the news by using unethical business practices.
- Nothing to add here
- Pled guilty to violating the Banks Act
- Was on Interpol's radar
- Settled a case for defrauding 2000 investors
- Company has been struggling under his leadership