2 accused of defrauding investors in medical marijuana grow operation in Warren County

Two men are accused of making misrepresentations to get people to invest in a reported California medical marijuana grow operation and a CBD cartridge manufacturing business.

A Warren County grand jury indicted Aaron Pitman, 34, of Morrow and Ryan R. Goldschmidt, 39, of Cincinnati on four counts of aggravated theft, three counts each of unauthorized use of property, telecommunications fraud and unlawful securities practices, two counts of grand theft and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

The pair deposited approximately $796,714 in investor funds into Warren County bank accounts controlled by each other, according to the prosecutor’s office. They reportedly used the funds for personal expenses and things unrelated to a medical marijuana cultivation business or CBD oil cartridge manufacturing business.

“In some cases, they diverted funds to pay off prior lawsuits or make payments to their friends,” according to a press release.

Pitman and Goldschmidt allegedly defrauded investors through multiple businesses and companies, including Oak Street Group, GGB Assets and Excelsior Leasing.

Neither Pitman nor Goldschmidt are licensed to sell securities in Ohio, according to the prosecutor’s office. The pair is also accused of misrepresenting Goldschmidt as an attorney to investors and claiming investors would get all of their money back, as well as additional profit distributions.

Despite representations made to investors, neither have experience in licensing, cultivating or selling medical marijuana or CBD oil cartridges businesses, according to the prosecutor’s office.

“Investors need to ask lots of questions and do extra research before investing any money,” said Ohio Securities Commissioner Andrea Seidt. “Investors can call our Investor Protection Hotline at 877-683-7841 to find out if the person is licensed to sell securities and if the product is properly registered.”

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