United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Buds 4 Life Owner Charged With Additional Counts Of Money Laundering
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, July 16, 2102
Docket #: 1:11-cr-352-LJO-SKO
FRESNO, Calif. — Buds 4 Life owners Mark Bagdasarian, 53, and his son, Ryan Bagdasarian, 24, both of Clovis, were arraigned today on a superseding indictment, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The superseding indictment charges Mark Bagdasarian with eight counts of money laundering. The charges are in addition to the original four-count indictment on October 13, 2012 that charged them with conspiring to cultivate and distribute marijuana and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. Mark Bagdasarian was also charged with cultivating marijuana. The next court date for Mark and Ryan Bagdasarian is August 20, 2012.
According to court documents, between April 2010 and October 2011, the Badgasarians conspired to distribute marijuana through the Buds 4 Life marijuana stores they owned and operated. Mark Bagdasarian was also charged with growing marijuana for the stores. The superseding indictment alleges that Mark Bagdasarian laundered proceeds from the business through an ATM installed in the business and by purchasing property in the name of two of his children and two business partner’s children with cash.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Elana S. Landau and Kevin P. Rooney are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of money laundering, Mark Bagdasarian faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.