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Michigan Cannabis Dispensary Owner Convicted of Tax Evasion

He was paying his company's operating expenses extensively in cash.

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A federal jury in Detroit found a Michigan man guilty of evading federal income taxes and obstructing the IRS, among other charges.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ryan Richmond, of Bloomfield, owned and operated the marijuana dispensary Relief Choices, LLC in Warren, Michigan.

From 2011 through at least 2014, Richmond had Relief Choices pay its operating expenses extensively in cash, and routed customer credit card payments through an unrelated third-party bank account to conceal his true business gross receipts.

In 2015 and 2016, Richmond obstructed the IRS by misleading investigators – and particularly an IRS auditor examining his individual income taxes – about his knowledge of, role in and profits derived from his Relief Choices operation. Richmond caused a tax loss to the IRS of more than $1.15 million.

Richmond is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 13 and faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count of tax evasion, three years in prison for obstructing the IRS and one year in prison for the willful failure to file a tax return count.

He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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