Thanks to the chief Anonymous Burner for giving us this tip. Play)A(Skool founder Scott Pack, whose past experience includes spooky firms like Booz, Allen & Hamilton (the world’s most profitable spy organization), SERCO (run by Winston Churchill’s grandson), and the Naval Surface Warfare Command, has been indicted in the largest ever fraud case in the Colorado pot business. Pack is accused of securities fraud, money laundering, racketeering, forgery, tax evasion, and conspiracy – and collaborating with corrupt former police officers.
Pack was charged with 11 felonies:
- Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA;
- two counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana;
- conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants;
- two counts of securities fraud;
- money laundering;
- tax evasion;
- and attempt to influence a public official.
A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million. [Source]
According to Westword, Pack denies all allegations against him:
“We have structured our business abiding by the governing laws and regulations, and there is no reason why we would need to deceive our stakeholders, who still hold value in our company. We deny the allegations in this case, which will easily be proven false once facts and evidence are revealed in court.”
It all began at Burning Man, according to a civil lawsuit against Pack and his accomplices:
From the Playaskool website:
Few people realize that PlayaSkool began when a large group of us were “priced out” of our seed camps. In order to decrease the number of people in these camps we had participated in, the organizers raised their dues dramatically in hopes to “cull out” those who didn’t have the money to belong. A group of seven incredible leaders — Michael Henderson, Nicole Schmidt, Scott Pack, Jay Rockliffe, Emre Özaltin, Annette Özaltin and myself banded together to create PlayaSkool and a platform to bring together our friends from around the world to share their experiences and bring those back to their communities — to “bridge the gap” between the playa and the real world.
A former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer and a Denver-based marijuana entrepreneur already the target of fraud allegations were indicted in connection with a suspected massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring that operated throughout the state.
A grand jury cast a wider net after the March indictments of 16 people in an allegedly illegal marijuana trafficking ring led by Michael Stonehouse, and on June 7 indicted former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) officer Renee Rayton and three others. According to court records and the indictment obtained by The Cannabist, warrants were filed for the arrest of Rayton; entrepreneur Scott Pack, whose businesses Harmony Green LLC and HGCO LLC also were charged; and Travis Bridle and John Edward Loos, both growers and suspected middlemen in the operation.
Pack, whose businesses hold 14 marijuana licenses, played a “pivotal” role in the Stonehouse drug-trafficking organization responsible for illegally producing and selling millions of dollars worth of marijuana across state lines, according to the grand jury’s indictment. Earlier this year — in a lawsuit first reported in April by Denver Westword — Pack and Rudy Saenz, who was indicted in March, were sued by former investors who claimed they lost close to $1 million because of the duo’s fraudulent scheme.
Investigators claim that Rayton, a former Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy who joined Colorado’s MED in 2015, left her enforcement division job in the fall of 2016 after Pack offered her a 6-month, $8,000-per-month position as a compliance consultant. She started working for Pack — and pocketing cash from illegal operations — barely two weeks after leaving her post, investigators allege, in violation of state licensing policies requiring a six-month “cooling off” period before former employees can work in an industry related to their oversight.
During her involvement with Pack and his Harmony & Green businesses, Rayton also told a source that she was aware of compliance breaches and said “that she knew ‘(Department of Revenue) employees’ who would help the (drug-trafficking organization) ‘get legal,'” according to the indictment.
Officials for the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County said they do not comment on open cases. Pack, Rayton, Bridle and Loos could not be immediately reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for the state’s marijuana regulatory agency said via email that MED was “actively engaged” in the investigation. She also noted that Rayton’s alleged illegal activity occurred after she left her job on Nov. 2, 2016.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we requested that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conduct a formal and independent investigation involving matters related to the Marijuana Enforcement Division,” said Lynn Granger, communications director for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees MED.
Rayton was charged with violation of state licensing authority and conspiracy to commit the cultivation of more than 30 plants of marijuana. She was released after posting a $5,000 bond, court records show.
Pack was charged with 11 counts, all felonies: Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA; two counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana; conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants; two counts of securities fraud; money laundering; forgery; tax evasion; and attempt to influence a public official. A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million, court records show.
Pack’s companies were charged with: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana; cultivation of 30-plus marijuana plants; and two counts of securities fraud.
Bridle and Loos, who investigators alleged illegally cultivated marijuana for sale out of state, also served as middlemen in the shipments and payments, the indictment claimed.
Loos was charged with two counts: conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to court records. Bridle was charged with conspiracy to distribute, distribution of 50 pounds or more of marijuana, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bond for each was set at $250,000 and warrants have been issued for their arrests.
‘A front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization’
Pack and Saenz were 50-50 partners in Harmony & Green LLC, an asset holding company and licensing business; Pack created HGCO to obtain marijuana licenses, according to allegations in the June 7 indictment. During the course of two years, Pack obtained 14 marijuana licenses for the firm, but he kept Saenz’s identity as an owner cloaked from the state.
Pack never disclosed to the state that his business partner was a man who was barred from obtaining a marijuana license nor that there were investments made from out of state or country, investigators allege.
Harmony & Green’s scheme involved soliciting investors for money to build out warehouses that had been leased or bought by Pack’s father, Michael Pack. The younger Pack and Saenz deceived investors, saying they had invested millions of their own money when they had not, and they misrepresented a $678,000 annual revenue stream that did not legally exist, according to the indictment.
Under the guise of a licensed Colorado cannabis business, Harmony & Green and HGCO served as a front for the drug-trafficking organization, investigators claim, noting that the businesses never made a single legal sale of cannabis in their two years of operation.
Pack and Saenz reeled in $1 million during 2016 from the illegal distribution of marijuana, investigators allege.
“All of this was done under Scott Pack and Rudy Saenz’s scheme of using HGCO LLC as a shell company, which essentially provided licenses that Harmony & Green LLC could never hold,” investigators alleged. “Harmony & Green LLC then scammed unknowing individuals into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company, which never once sold legal marijuana in the state of Colorado, but provided a front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization.”
Eight of the 16 people indicted held active or expired licenses for operating a marijuana business in Colorado, The Denver Post reported in March.
The story has garnered national attention, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited The Denver Post in a recent letter to Congress framing his opposition to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prevents Justice Department funds from being used for prosecutions in states with medical marijuana laws. The letter dated May 1, 2017, was published Monday by MassRoots, a marijuana social media company.
“Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote. “In particular, Cuban, Asian, Caucasian and Eurasian criminal organizations have established marijuana operations in state-approved marijuana markets. The individuals in these organizations often find a place for themselves within state regulatory systems.”
We received this comment on Facebook from Zoë Brock, who I can confirm is not the Anonymous Burner source who originally tipped us off to this story.
Zoë Brock I’ve had a couple of people reach out to me in the last day or two and suggest that I am responsible for this article or other aspects of Scott Pack’s astonishing downfall. Amazingly, I’m not (amazing because I didn’t even think of it, NOT because there aren’t plenty of people who would feel justified and motivated enough to feed Burners.Me the story).
For the record, I have no idea if Scott Pack is guilty or innocent. I worked for his company in marketing, brand and design (and glorified personal assistant/social organizer/fuck bunny – doing whatever I could to support my then boyfriend). It was my job to make everything look beautiful and try to keep him on track to uphold the corporate integrity I wrote for the company’s culture and mission. Clearly I failed, and for that I would like to extend my sincere apologies to all the people who invested in his company. I’m sorry. Looking back I can see that the corporate ethos that was peddled to you reflected my own integrity and ideals, not those of its CEO. I’m embarrassed and sad that I ever had anything to do with Mr Pack on a personal level, or his company on a professional one. I wish I could erase him from my life forever.
I do have an opinion on Scott’s guilt/innocence with these indictments but it is based solely on my own experiences of his character (or lack thereof) and the statements of several people who have approached me since the indictments came down and told me what they know. It doesn’t look good, but in this new Trump world anything is possible.
I have mediocre faith in the judicial system and if Mr Pack is innocent I assume he will be found so. If he is found guilty I have no doubt that he will continue to cry “witch hunt” and “fake news” and other Trumpian things.
Mr Pack has recently asked me to stop posting negatively about him and hurting his standing in “The Community”. My response to that is – stop behaving negatively. I’m not putting any kind of spin on things, I’m simply stating the facts. The facts are that this man lied to everyone he has ever met about the state of his marriage and the character of his poor wife. He lied about the state of our relationship and my character. He has assassinated the characters of many of his friends and colleagues behind their backs – and yet demands loyalty from everyone or else they are “dead to (him)”, and now he has been indicted on criminal charges.
There are many people who might be the Anonymous Burner mentioned in this article. I have an inkling that it was a band of brothers (and sisters) fed up with the arrogance, manipulations, double standards, lies, misogyny, objectification and the abject lack of accountability and complete victim mentality of this poor little rich boy from San Diego.
I’d like to say thanks to Anonymous Burner for aiding the karmic hammer on its path, for I know that there is nothing more important to Mr Pack than his reputation. Nothing.
Which brings me to my point. If you, singularly or as a community, want to see him evolve and be a better person, then hold him accountable. Don’t let him make excuses for his shit and blame other people anymore. Don’t let him pass the buck. Don’t pat him on the back and tell him everything will be ok or indulge his victim mentality. Don’t just anonymously fill his RV with trash at the end of the Burn as a message for him (that was crazy, yo – but I had to clean that shit up!). Tell him. Tell him face to face what a gigantic, mean, demoralizing asshole he is to work with/under/build a camp with. Tell him you think cheating on his wife is immoral and ugly. Make him aware that saying vicious things about womens genitals behind their backs after sleeping with them is disgusting and ungentlemanly. Make sure he knows that letting women have unprotected sex with him and someone he knows has HIV is downright illegal and fucking horrifying. Communicate to him how fucked up it is to string his girlfriend along for years thinking she is supporting him through a violent divorce only to find out it was bullshit once she was pregnant. Please let him know, on no uncertain terms, that after his abusive, threatening, sadistic and cruel behavior during her pregnancy, birth and first few weeks of motherhood that he is not welcome in her life, and that the best thing he can do for her and her daughter is to leave them alone forever and focus on healing things with his traumatized wife and neglected children. Please, please tell him that “The Community” no longer “wants to see him step up and be a good father”, but that it instead wants him to back the fuck off and leave them alone.
However you do it is fine by me. A text, a message, an email. Carrier pigeon.
If you don’t like confrontations feel free to just like this post to show your support of Willow and I.
Or delete him.
I love you all but your silence is enabling. He reads it as acceptance, and acceptance prevents him from ever learning accountability.
If this community wants to be a community perhaps it ought to find its voice and not just snack on popcorn from the sidelines.
This man has treated people like shit for years and then waxes lyrical about peace, love and mungbeans. Well reading self-help books does not make an evolved man, and fucking everything with a hole in it doesn’t make you a feminist.
How do you know I am not Anonymous Burner? Because I would have proudly emblazoned my name right across the top of this article… and added a whole lot more.
Weed needs to be fully legalized as recreational ONLY, and regulated the same as alcohol. Getting super tired of all the gray area bullshit around weed.
Just be sure that the taxation is enough to cover all the added socail/medial costs. Look at what legalization has done in the states where it has been legalized.
I’m looking…what am I looking for again? Lower incarceration rates for non-violent crimes? One less excuse for locking up black people? Tax revenue for schools? Less of the violence that come with prohibition and a black market?
You are looking for things like this:
The problems associated with legalization don’t even come close to the benefits.
I was taking about taxes covering costs. English is apparently not your first language; you need to work on that.
So if costs aren’t covered by taxes it’s okay to imprison people for non-violent crime, disproportionately prosecute people of color, and encourage crime organizations by establishing a black market for a plant. Yeah…it’s me who needs educating…
If the taxes don’t cover the added societal cost of legal casual cannabis it will not “imprison people for non-violent crime, disproportionately prosecute people of color, and encourage crime organizations by establishing a black market for a plant.” Cannabis will be legal, and these things will not happen.
Insufficient cannabis tax revenue to offset the societal cost of added casual use will simply cause a correlation of that added cost with legalization; this will tend to make an argument for reversing legalization.
Sorry, but understanding English, or logic, is still an issue for you.
What has legalization done? Genuinely asking. I agree on taxation, should go towards treatment centers and schools.
More than covering the incremental costs due to legalization, the taxes should cover all costs of dealing with cannabis use and abuse. You could make the same argument for alcohol – alcohol tax revenues can cover that and much more, but is not dedicated to cover alcohol abuse first. The cannabis tax should first be used to deal with abuse and legalization associated problems. The problem is, the state will wallow in the raw tax revenues, and use it for other things and lose sight of covering the consequences of the taxed commodity.
It is like using gasoline tax to pay for road costs, which sorta works.
Or for that matter, the Ponzi scheme of Social Security taxes that were supposed to pay for benefits, but that the government has stolen (“borrowed”) from the SS trust fund to do other things. Social Security is “running out of money” because the Ponzi scheme needs new people putting in money to cover the outflows from even more people retiring.
fucking DEVILS weed, I’m telling you!
Scott Pack was one of seven original founders of PlayaSkool and we are grateful for his energy and contribution in our very first year on the Playa back in 2010. Since then Scott has not been involved in PlayaSkool and has in fact camped at a number of other camps. We can’t comment on these developments as it’s news to us as well. We are certain that justice will be served and our thoughts are with his family and in particular his children in this difficult time. – Headmaster Janus