Owner of Cannabis Company Charged in Federal Court With Swindling Investors Out of More Than $950,000
CHICAGO — The owner of a cannabis company has been charged in federal court in Chicago with swindling investors out of more than $950,000.
GEOFFREY THOMPSON, 53, of Naples, Fla., and formerly of Frankfort, Ill., is charged with one count of wire fraud. Arraignment is set for Dec. 9, 2021, at 11:30 a.m., before U.S. District Judge John F. Kness.
The charge was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Getter.
Thompson owned and operated a Canadian-based cannabis company that did business in Colorado. According to a criminal information filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Thompson in 2018 and 2019 solicited and obtained money from investors by falsely representing that their funds would be used for expanding the company’s business and holding an initial public offering of securities.
In reality, the information alleges that Thompson knowingly misrepresented the company’s financial condition and that he knew the company was not in a position for an IPO at that time. Thompson instead misappropriated investor funds for his and his family’s personal use and to make Ponzi-type payments to lull earlier investors, the information alleges.
As a result of the scheme, Thompson caused the victim investors to suffer at least $952,000 in losses, the charge alleges.
The public is reminded that an information is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.