Convicted Con Artist Pleads Guilty to $18 Million Cannabis Scam

Convicted con artist Mark Roy Anderson, known for his long history of swindles, has pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of over $18 million in a sham cannabis empire. Anderson, 69, admitted to two counts of wire fraud in a case brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Operating under the guise of running companies invested in hemp farms and cannabis-infused retail products, as well as a bottling business, Anderson deceived his victims with false claims. It was discovered that Anderson, a convicted con artist with a track record spanning three decades, had launched his fraudulent hemp business immediately after his release from federal prison in May 2019. He had served over 11 years for an oil investment scam.

In the first scheme, Anderson tricked investors between 2020 and 2021 into providing funds for his company, Harvest Farm Group. He falsely represented that the company owned and operated a hemp farm in Kern County, where he claimed to have successfully harvested and processed hemp into medical-grade cannabidiol (CBD) isolate. However, the FBI confirmed that the farm did not exist. Anderson also lied about using his own machinery and equipment to convert the hemp into CBD isolate and Delta 8, a psychoactive substance.

In the second scheme, which took place from April 2021 to May 2023, Anderson solicited money for sham companies Bio Pharma and Verta Bottling. He claimed that these businesses manufactured, bottled, and packaged commercial products. Anderson falsely stated that his bottling companies possessed valuable assets, including hemp biomass, CBD isolate, CBD oil, and manufacturing equipment. Again, these claims were proven to be false.

The FBI investigation revealed that Anderson used the ill-gotten funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of a $1.3-million gated residence in Ojai, luxury automobiles, chartered private jet flights, and merchandise from various retailers. As part of his guilty plea, Anderson has agreed to forfeit his gains, including 15 cars, including a Ferrari, and his Ojai property.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. Mark Roy Anderson is like a master illusionist, deceiving investors with his elaborate tricks and sleight of hand. Just as an illusionist creates the illusion of something that isn’t really there, Anderson created the illusion of a thriving cannabis empire to trick investors into giving him their money. But just like the audience eventually sees through the illusion, the truth behind Anderson’s scam has been revealed, leaving investors empty-handed and deceived.

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