A failed IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has the makings of intrigue and some sleight of hand.
China Tuna Industry Group Holdings, based in Dalian, China, has been one of the largest suppliers of premium tuna for Japan's sushi market.
It was aiming to go public in September—with the help of Deutsche Bank—and put out a preliminary prospectus in August for investors with the hope of raising around $150 million.
But that prospectus was its downfall.
A close inspection by Greenpeace found that the company stated it was not in danger of being punished for fishing beyond international quotas.
And the environmental group uncovered that China Tuna used outdated information on how much of a dwindling species of tuna were available to catch.
Now, the IPO is suspended, China Tuna is incommunicado, Deutsche Bank is declining comment and the Chinese government is on the defensive over fish management rules.
"The main problem was their use of older assessments on bigeye tuna," said Elsa Lee, senior business advisor at Greenpeace, who spoke to CNBC by phone from Hong Kong.
"The Pacific Ocean is overfished on bigeye and not recognizing that was a big omission on their (China Tuna) part," she said.
For investors interested in China, the incident comes as a warning even after the recent success of the IPO from China-based Alibaba.
"There was renewed confidence after Alibaba," said Greg Sichenzia, a founding partner of securities law firm Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference.
"We saw it come back after the rash of inaccurate Chinese IPO statements a few years ago," Sichenzia said. "This is not to disparage China, but this is a wake-up call for investors."