Cannabis Dispensary Owner Receives 24-Month Prison Sentence for Tax Fraud

June 21st, 2024 Legal & Crime
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In a significant legal development, Ryan Richmond, a businessman from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for tax evasion, failure to file tax returns, and obstruction of an IRS audit. Richmond, the owner and operator of Relief Choices LLC, a cannabis dispensary in Warren, Michigan, was found guilty of orchestrating a scheme to conceal the true extent of his business's income through cash transactions and third-party credit card payments.

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing

U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker for the Eastern District of Michigan handed down the prison sentence, emphasizing the severity of Richmond's financial misconduct. In addition to the prison term, Richmond was ordered to serve one year of supervised release following his incarceration and to pay $2,777,684 in restitution to the IRS.

Financial Deception Unveiled

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Richmond directed Relief Choices to conduct significant financial transactions in cash and routed credit card payments through unrelated third-party bank accounts. These actions were intended to obscure the business's gross receipts and evade regulatory scrutiny.

Richmond's legal troubles stemmed from his deliberate failure to report Relief Choices' substantial earnings on his personal tax returns for the years 2012 through 2014. This omission deprived the IRS of significant tax revenue and highlighted the extent of his financial deception.

Obstruction of IRS Audit

The situation worsened for Richmond when he obstructed an IRS audit in 2015 and 2016. Court records indicate that Richmond misled auditors by downplaying his involvement in Relief Choices and misrepresenting the business's profits. This obstruction impeded the IRS's efforts to uncover the truth and compounded Richmond's legal issues.

Government Response and Commitment

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division highlighted the case's importance, reaffirming the government's commitment to prosecuting individuals involved in tax evasion schemes. This case underscores the government's stance that financial misconduct will be met with severe consequences.

Investigation and Prosecution

The investigation into Richmond's activities was led by IRS Criminal Investigation, demonstrating the agency's dedication to combating financial fraud. Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and Christopher P. O'Donnell from the Justice Department's Tax Division prosecuted the case, showcasing the collaborative efforts of regulatory and legal bodies to ensure justice is served.


Ryan Richmond's sentencing serves as a powerful reminder of the severe consequences of financial deceit and tax evasion. As regulatory agencies intensify their efforts to combat financial crimes, individuals engaging in illicit schemes must be prepared to face significant repercussions. Transparency and compliance with tax laws are essential to maintaining the integrity of the financial system and protecting public trust.

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