Guy Scott Griffithe & Robert Russell Charged by SEC in Cannabis Company Scheme
A California man, Guy Scott Griffithe, and a Washington state man, Robert William Russell, were charged on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for defrauding investors by selling them shares of one company, which they said would go towards operating another, when in fact the funds were being used for personal expenses. In other words, they were selling fake shares of a company.
The companies in question are Renewable Technologies Solution, Inc., an entity controlled by Guy Griffithe, and SMRB LLC, a Washington company owned by Robert Russell. SMRB LLC holds a license to grow marijuana under Washington’s recreational marijuana laws. These licenses can often be hard to get, which can make a company valuable if it has one. Griffithe and Russell ended up raising almost $5 million of the fraudulent shares of the cannabis company.
According to crowdfundinsider.com, funds raised by Griffithe and Russell were used towards the following purchases:
- 2008 Bentley Continental,
- 2012 Mercedes Benz C Class,
- 2013 Ford Mustang,
- 2015 Porsche Panamera,
- $250,000 towards a 65-foot Pacific Mariner yacht bought by Russell and Sonja Russell,
- $25,000 towards a 42-foot Hydrasport custom powerboat,
Griffithe also allegedly deposited approximately $1.7 million into Russell’s personal bank accounts.
Sonja Russell is Robert Russell’s wife, and she is also named in the complaint filed by the SEC.
SEC Associate Director Melissa R. Hodgman said, “As alleged in our complaint, Griffithe and Russell exploited popular interest in the cannabis industry to obtain millions of dollars from investors who thought they were buying into a profitable business. Instead, Griffithe and Russell deceived investors and used the money to enrich themselves.”
Griffithe has produced several films over the past few years, with his credits available on IMDb, as well as an extensive bio that is very favorable towards him.
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