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United States vs. Justin Costello

United States vs. Justin Costello

Case Number:  22-cr-00160-RSM

Case Summary:  This prosecution involves fraudulent conduct by Justin Costello related to a few different schemes. First, Costello defrauded three marijuana businesses through Costello’s purported banking business. In this part of the fraud, Costello promised to use the marijuana businesses’ money consistent with the marijuana businesses’ direction. Instead, Costello commingled the money with other funds and misappropriated come money for his personal benefit. These marijuana businesses lost over $3 million.  In addition, Costello fraudulently solicited private investors to invest him two marijuana businesses Costello owned and controlled. He further made fraudulent statements in SEC filings and press releases related to the publicly traded stock of GRN Holding Corp. These frauds caused investors (private and public) to lose over $30 million.  Finally, Costello engaged in a pump-and-dump scheme with an unindicted coconspirator. Costello purchased millions of shares in thinly traded penny stocks, directed his coconspirator to make baseless claims about the stocks on Twitter, and sold his shares after the false statements drove the stock price up. Costello also shared a portion of his profits with the coconspirator.

Defendant(s):  Justin Costello

Court Dates: 

Initial Appearance and Arraignment:  November 18, 2022 @ 2:00 p.m. Courtroom 12B

Detention Hearing:  December 7, 2022

Change of Plea:  January 18, 2023 @ 10:30 a.m., Courtroom 12B

Trial:  January 23, 2023 @ 9:00 a.m., Courtroom 13206

Sentencing Continued:  June 2, 2023 @ 1:00 p.m., Courtroom 13206

Sentencing Rescheduled:  May 31, 2023 @ 1:00 p.m., Courtroom 13206 


Court Documents:



Plea Agreement: 


Other Documents:


Press Releases:

Former Washington state resident indicted for defrauding investors and marijuana businesses

Former Bellevue, Washington resident pleads guilty to securities fraud for defrauding investors and marijuana businesses

Updated May 30, 2023