Alleged Hemp License Fraud Scheme Leads to Indictment

A Texas man has been indicted on theft charges after allegedly bilking investors out of tens of thousands of dollars he said would be used to purchase a hemp license.

Full story after the jump.

A Texas man has been indicted on theft charges after allegedly bilking investors out of tens of thousands of dollars he said would be used to purchase a hemp license, according to an affidavit released by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office outlined by Patch. Keenan Lopez Williams is accused of misrepresenting the processes to obtain the license and lied about how he spent about $77,500 of investors’ money.

Williams, 53, told investigators with the Texas Rangers that he had used the funds to pay consultants, cultivators, and breeders for information but during the investigation, officers found the money was being used for “personal finances,” the report says.

Brad Weatherford, the Texas Ranger who investigated Williams, said that Williams claimed he had connections to politicians and elected leaders.

“I reviewed Keenan Williams’s Facebook public page, which has photos of Keenan Williams and a number of state and federal elected officials, thus giving credibility to Keenan Williams’ deception of providing certain services to guarantee a hemp license.”Weatherford in a statement via Patch

Williams was released on a surety bond. He was first arrested in connection with the scheme in February 2021.

In May, Todd Malcolm Smith, a political consultant to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, was arrested on charges that he took cash and campaign donations in exchange for access to state hemp licenses, according to Hemp Today.

Legal documents outlined by Hemp Today suggest Williams and Smith attempted to collect as much as $150,000 for early access to “guaranteed” Texas hemp licenses. The fee for a hemp license in Texas is $300.

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