On Monday, March 14, Russian oligarch Andrey Muraviev was charged by federal prosecutors with funding a one million dollar campaign hush money that unlawfully channeled donations to United States politicians in turn for their help in getting a cannabis retail license.
A cyclone of schemes spreading over various states suggests a plot to influence elections and illegally acquire cannabis licenses in other areas and Nevada.
According to a charge that was declassified for public viewing by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York some days ago, it was alleged that a Russian oligarch conspired with American officials to obtain a cannabis license through illegal channels in Nevada. Federal prosecutors have said the activities amounted to political campaign donations that were not legal.
Spreading dirty money everywhere
In 2018, Andrew Muraviev, who happens to be a Russian oligarch, was indicted for breaking federal campaign finance laws. He was accused of illegally channeling contributions to ex-Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt in exchange for the benefit of obtaining an adult-use cannabis business license in Nevada. Laxalt had already been suspected and accused of bribery in the past.
The information comes at a period where organizations and different businesses are seeking to cut ties with Russian oligarchs, even though for a different reason, as the conflict with Ukraine stirs up prying eyes. Andrew Muraviev is charged with working alongside Ukrainian-born Andrey Kukushkin, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, and others. They have all been sentenced at trial or have admitted guilt to related offenses.
The five of them are charged with coming up with a plan to obtain $1 million from Muraviev to give later contributions to political campaigns as a favor to political candidates who could, as a means of returning such favor, make moves to help Muraviev and his fellow accomplices get licenses.
High Times Magazines were informed by a representative of the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board that they had just discussed this particular issue during a recent board meeting that occurred the previous December. Chair Dennis Neilander said at the Cannabis Compliance Board meeting on December 14 that “Muraviev was a creditor and lender, and the board takes up the responsibility of knowing where funds depart to.”
In view of this situation, the funds were obtained from a person identified as having been involved with some other people who perpetrated serious offenses. The majority of the members of the board were in agreement. Reports from the Miami Herald said that the plan included ensuring cannabis licenses in various states. Still, eventually, it died off due to failure to submit the required paper documents on time to get licenses elsewhere and in Nevada.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Laurel Leaf on Green Entrepreneur
Published: March 28, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News