The owner of a closed Warren marijuana dispensary and Oakland County resident is accused of tax evasion by under-counting business receipts and lying about his role in the company, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ryan Richmond of Bloomfield Hills, who owned Relief Choices dispensary, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of tax evasion, attempting to obstruct internal revenue laws, making a false statement and failure to file an individual income tax return, says the DOJ in a news release Thursday.
The indictment alleges that from 2011 through at least 2014, Relief Choices under Richmond’s operation made “extensive use of cash to pay business operating expenses and routed customer business credit card payments through an unrelated third-party bank account to conceal his actual business gross receipts from the IRS,” the release says.
Officials said in 2015 and 2016 Richmond allegedly lied to an IRS audit agent about his control of, work responsibilities for and profit from Relief Choices, which was located on Dequindre Road between Eight and Nine Mile roads.
Richmond, a former Royal Oak resident, also operated Clinical Relief in Ferndale, which was raided in August 2010, and seven people, including Richmond, were charged with crimes. The charges, including delivery of marijuana, against the defendants were dismissed by Judge Daniel O’Brien Oakland County Circuit Court but reinstated in 2013 by the state Court of Appeals, according to court records.
However, the charges were later dismissed in Oakland Circuit Court.
Richmond also faced a marijuana delivery charge in 2015 but that also was later dismissed in Oakland Circuit Court.
In 2011, Richmond wrote an opinion column for LansingCityPulse.com about the government’s reaction to marijuana dispensaries. He identified himself as a venture capitalist, commercial real estate professional and a board member of the Marijuana Patients Organization.