Lobbyist Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges in Michigan Medical Cannabis Scheme

A second Michigan lobbyist pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme involving the former head of the state’s medical cannabis licensing board.

Full story after the jump.

A second lobbyist last week pleaded guilty in the bribery scheme involving the former head of the Michigan medical cannabis licensing board, the Detroit Free Press reports. Brian Pearce pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy to commit bribery charge for his role in funneling $42,000 in bribes to former Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Agency Chairman Rick Johnson. Johnson, a Republican, is also a former Michigan House Speaker. 

Johnson pled guilty last month to accepting $110,000 in bribes in exchange for industry licenses. John Dawood Dalaly last month also pled guilty to his role in the scheme, admitting that he had hired Johnson’s wife, Jan Johnson, as a consultant for $4,000 a month and she helped him fill out forms that would end up in front of the board that her husband chaired. Dalaly also admitted to providing at least $68,200 in cash and other benefits to Johnson, including two private flights to Canada. 

Businessman Vincent Brown has also pled guilty in the scheme. 

Pierce faces up to five years in prison and a potential fine of $250,000. Federal prosecutors have agreed to consider motioning for a sentencing guideline reduction for Pierce in exchange for his cooperation.  

None of the four men have been sentenced and all four are cooperating with the government. 

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten has said the investigation into the corruption scheme remains ongoing. 

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