Los Angeles Business Journal

Dispute Sinks Ocean Eco-Charity

By Alfred Lee Friday, June 27, 2014

For a moment in 2011, charity organization Seathos Foundation was Venice’s celebrity cause de jour. Its mission to spread awareness of the human impact on oceans drew such supporters as actors Julia Roberts and Jeff Bridges and surfer Kelly Slater. Its posh three-story space on Abbot Kinney Boulevard housed an art exhibit that spring by Incubus singer Brandon Boyd.

But while the goodwill poured in, its co-founders were allegedly discussing ways that Seathos could promote their own business activities – ambitious plans that ultimately resulted in a nasty partnership breakup.

Two of the co-founders, Nick Behunin and Michael Schwab, son of billionaire investor Charles R. Schwab, now say the other used Seathos to advance his own business interests.

The infighting also includes a dispute over a much bigger venture: plans to develop land owned by descendants of Indonesia’s late dictator Suharto.

Read the full story in the June 30 weekly edition of the Business Journal.