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California businessman gets 2½ years for bank fraud in $150M pot processing scheme

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

June 21, 2021

A federal judge sentenced a California businessman Friday to 2½ years in prison for his role as the "mastermind" behind a scheme that duped banks into processing around $150 million in cannabis-related purchases, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Hamid "Ray" Akhavan and his co-defendant, German e-commerce consultant Ruben Weigand, were convicted in March on one count apiece for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The case highlights the challenges cannabis industry-serving companies face as banks remain reluctant to associate with a drug that's still illegal on a federal level.

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Originally published by BankingDive


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