The Security and Exchange Commission is suing six people who are allegedly involved in a $25 million scam where they deceived investors by promising astounding returns involving a supposed marijuana farm and CBD extraction facility in California.
The money was raised from over 400 investors from all over the U.S. between September 2017 and February 2019, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The lawsuit was filed in a California federal court and states that one group of companies formed by the individuals raised $12.3 million from 226 investors for a marijuana farm in Salinas, California.
According to the suit, a second group of companies raised $13.2 million from 211 investors for an extraction facility to produce CBD, also in Salinas.
The accused individuals, who are all from California or Arizona, claimed the unregistered securities would generate annual returns of “100% or more,” according to the SEC’s complaint.
The defendants allegedly misappropriated at least $2.7 million of the investor money and lied about a supposed loan that would finance the CBD facility.
Nine different entities raised the money and they are:
Extraction Capital Tier 1.
Green Growth Ventures.
RJ Holdings Group.
Valley View Enterprises.
Zabala Farms Group.
The defendants listed in the complaint are Anthony Todd Johnson, Jeremy Johnson, Richard Portillo, Charles Lloyd, Mark Heckele and Michael Gregory.
The SEC wants a permanent injunction blocking the six defendants’ investment activity, plus penalties.
Regulators also are seeking repayment of the funds received from the allegedly illegal conduct, plus interest.