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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner Sentenced for Tax Evasion

Officials said he cost the IRS more than $1 million.

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A Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, businessman was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for evading his income taxes, failing to file an income tax return and obstructing an IRS audit.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Ryan Richmond owned and operated Relief Choices LLC, a marijuana dispensary in Warren, Michigan. From 2011 through at least 2014, Richmond directed Relief Choices to pay its operating expenses extensively in cash and route customer credit card payments through an unrelated third-party bank account to conceal its true business gross receipts.

On his personal 2012 through 2014 tax returns, Richmond did not report Relief Choices as a business he owned and did not report its gross receipts. In addition, Richmond failed to file any tax return for tax year 2014, despite Relief Choices earning more than $1.8 million in gross receipts that year.

In 2015 and 2016, Richmond also obstructed the IRS by misleading an IRS auditor examining his individual income taxes about his knowledge of, role in and profits derived from Relief Choices.

In total, Richmond caused a loss to the IRS of $1,088,151.

In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker for the Eastern District of Michigan sentenced Richmond to one year of supervised release and ordered him to pay $2,777,684 in restitution to the IRS.

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