Two fraudsters convicted after duping U.S. financial institutions into processing US$150 million in cannabis purchases

8w
2m read
Summary

Two men could spend decades in prison for an elaborate enterprise using fake companies, false websites and bogus customer service centres to hoodwink U.S. financial institutions into processing US$150 million ($189 million) in credit and debit card purchases for supposedly legal goods that were, in fact, weed. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit bank fraud is 30 years in prison, although a judge will determine sentencing, scheduled for June 25. To execute the scheme, Akhavan and Weigand worked with, among others, “principals from one of the leading on-demand marijuana delivery companies in the U.S.,” notes the statement. They ginned up “fake web traffic to those fake websites, all in the service of fraudulently moving money through the United States financial system,” Strauss explains. The laundering scheme is alleged to have been operational from about 2016 through 2019.

Article Preview

Two men could spend decades in prison for an elaborate enterprise using fake companies, false websites and bogus customer service centres to hoodwink U.S. financial institutions into processing US$150 million ($189 million) in credit and debit card purchases for supposedly legal goods that were, in fact, weed.

It took four weeks, but the trial involving Hamid “Ray” Akhavan, a 43-year-old resident of California, and Ruben Weigand, a 38-year-old resident of Germany recently ended with the two men each being convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Akhavan was the leader of the scheme and Weigand was responsible for overseeing the...

Read the full article @ The Growth Op