The former CEO of cannabis delivery platform Eaze has now pleaded guilty to one conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The bank fraud allegedly committed was connected with a scheme to trick banks into processing $100 million worth of credit and debit card payments for marijuana products.
According to reports from Law360.com, who was the first to report on the case, it indicated that the former CEO Jim Patterson would waive indictment by federal prosecutors in New York. He will then choose to plead guilty, which just so happened on Feb 19. A comment has yet to be made from Patterson's team regarding the case.
The former CEO stepped down in 2019 and later went on to leave the company as well. Eaze spokeswoman, Elizabeth Ashford, wrote in an email: "As reported, we are cooperating with relevant authorities, Jim is no longer with the company, and Eaze is not a defendant in this matter."
The case primarily centered around businessmen Ruben Weigand and Hamid Akhavan, who were indicted in March 2020 on conspiracy charges to engage in bank fraud in a sharp "transaction laundering scheme" between 2016 - 2019. The two businessmen argued in the case against them that it's entirely invalid because officials have not charged them with the intent to harm or steal from banks. According to the indictment, accusations money was only transferred through banks, not acquired through them. Back in August, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that argument out and said it "borders on the frivolous." Their trial is now set to occur on Mar 1 in the U.S District Court of the Southern District of New York.
This trial will essentially be the district's white-collar criminal trial of the year that we have seen so far.
Eaze was founded originally as a quick cannabis delivery app but announced last year that it would shift from just a technology platform to a more retail business.
For more on cannabis news and trends, take a look at former NFL superstar Marshawn Lynch's cannabis-line "Dodi Blunts."