Two Ohio men have been indicted by a Warren County grand jury for theft, fraud, corrupt activity, and unlawful securities practices related to a fake medical cannabis and CBD oil manufacturing business.
Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell announced the charges against Aaron Pitman, 34, of Morrow, and Ryan R. Goldschmidt, 39, of Cincinnati on Tuesday, alleging the pair defrauded investors through multiple business entities including Oak Street Group, GGB Assets, and Excelsior Leasing. The men are accused of making misrepresentations to multiple victims to persuade them to invest in a medical cannabis grow operation that they claimed to be operating in California, as well as a CBD oil cartridge manufacturing business, according to a press release from the Warren County prosecutor’s office.
Approximately $796,714 in investor funds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Pitman and Goldschmidt. The money was used for personal expenses and other purposes unrelated to medical cannabis or a CBD oil cartridge manufacturing business. In some cases, the pair diverted funds to pay off prior lawsuits or make payments to their friends, according to a press release.
Neither Pitman nor Goldschmidt is licensed to sell securities to investors in the state of Ohio, or in any other state, and despite their representations to investors, neither has prior experience in the business of licensing, cultivating, or selling medical cannabis or CBD. They are alleged to have misrepresented to investors that Goldschmidt was an attorney and that they would get 100% of their money back, plus additional profits.
The victims were left with no returns on their investments.
The indictments are the result of an investigation by the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Forensic Accounting Division.
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