A 54-year-old former California labor organizer pleaded guilty to three felony counts for fraud-related offenses. He has been accused of taking money from people and entities he was supposed to be attempting to help organize.
The man was reportedly employed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International and was responsible for coordinating the company's medical cannabis and hemp division. Because he had fiduciary duties to the union, he was prohibited from accepting dual compensation. However, the man admitted during his plea that he had accepted compensation from employees. Additionally, he also reportedly admitted to conspiring with an attorney to launder or conceal money in an attempt to evade reporting requirements. The accused man faces up to 30 years in prison.
In 2010, the accused man received a $500,000 loan from a marijuana entrepreneur. However, the he was aware that the money that was being loaned had been earned in connection to illegal activities. He admitted to conspiring with the attorney to structure the loan proceeds. The loan payments were also falsely characterized as consulting fees. The lender also became an employer in the company that the accused man was trying to organize.
If a person is accused of committing wire fraud or other similar federal crimes, consequences could include a lengthy prison sentence. A criminal law attorney may thoroughly review the case in order to mount a strong defense. Depending on circumstances, the attorney may argue that the accused person was unaware he or she was involved in illegal activities. If the evidence is strong, the attorney may negotiate a more positive outcome through a plea deal.
Source: Piedmont Patch, "Marijuana Labor Organizer Pleads Guilty, Could Face 30 Years For Money Laundering", June 24, 2017