Scott Pack, 41, was convicted of six felonies — two counts of pattern of racketeering and conspiracy (under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act), a first-class drug felony, conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, and two counts of securities fraud.
Pack, who now lives in California, faces up to 32 years in prison. He scheduled for sentencing on April 6.
According to Brauchler’s office, Pack was at the top of the business, Harmony & Green. Although it was a legally licensed marijuana business, Harmony & Green never produced any marijuana that was legally sold, never reported legal marijuana sales, and never paid marijuana-related taxes.
Pack also sought and obtained millions of dollars from investors to back the operation. Prosecutors called it a scam.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Darcy Kofol said, “This defendant thought he could avoid prosecution by having subordinates do all the dirty work. He thought he left no trail. He told them, ‘If anything happens to you, I have the money to hire the attorneys. So none of this can touch me’. He was wrong.”
The ring allegedly shipped pot to Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.
The story at Westword has some further details about the operation:
Investigators discovered 845 marijuana plants weighing 2,535 pounds worth more than $5 million...the beginning of an investigation that uncovered a major drug trafficking organization…illegally cultivating, processing and distributing marijuana and marijuana products to at least five states. The DTO [drug-trafficking organization] produced well over 300 pounds of marijuana each month at sites in Denver, Elizabeth and Colorado Springs. The distribution was arranged and executed throughout Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert counties, and other locations along the Front Range.”
He claims to be conducting covert Tier One operations in the U.S. He also claims to be battling against evil and therefore anyone who questions him in any way is evil, a troll, must be blocked and denounced. Yes, one of those.
When I first heard of Sawyer’s new mission to team up with his Navy SEAL and CIA buddies to stop child trafficking, I was initially supportive.
It seemed like this was happening in the wake of all the awareness brought by the leaks of John Podesta and Hillary Clinton’s emails. Since then we’ve had 201263 men brought down by the #MeToo movement, Harvey Weinstein, Backpage, George Pell, NXIVM, dozens of Disney pedo employees, and all the bombshell new Jeffrey Epstein revelations. Pedo networks have been taken down all over the world. Perhaps people may have wondered if #PizzaGate was real at the time of the 2016 election; there can be no doubt any more.
Awareness is one thing; but how do we stop this industry of human trafficking? Is it Ivanka Trump? Sawman? Titus Frost (who I’m watching as I write this)?
What can we do, if we are concerned? Donate money to those who are fighting it. So far, so good…
Given how utterly corrupt this underworld is, and the involvement of private security contractors and government officials and intelligence agencies…well, these things make me get kind of suspicious. It’s not exactly the first thing that would be on my list of what charity to donate to: one doing Tier One covert operations with TOP SECRET clearances whose founder had previously provided close protection security for Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and John Negroponte. That’s who’s gonna stop child trafficking in Arizona?
As time passed, I saw less and less activity from Sawyer’s organization – while he seemed to be spending an enormous amount of time on self-promotion. I grew disillusioned, and asked him about it on Twitter:
I take back what I said then about the Honeybee, because she seems to have done the same thing as Sawyer – raised money from concerned citizens to make “Kids, Inc” a documentary exposing the horrors of the child sex trafficking industry, then years later there is still no sign of any documentary.
I note Sawyer’s immediate response to being questioned about where the money was going was that the FBI should “take a closer look” at me, and accusing me of being a pedophile and a rapist. I support good veterans protecting children from pedophiles, but also I believe that our government and legal system needs to be doing that.
If you say “that’s not good enough, we need vigilantes to get involved”…well, if that is indeed the case then they should be delivering justice: not lining their pockets in the name of charity. Child abuse is a sensitive issue, and one you can press peoples’ buttons on. Is this charity really one that is addressing this terrible social issue?
Is it evil to question how public donations to a famous person are being spent? Or why a movie to “make people aware of what’s happening” is taking so long to produce? If everything is above board then why should it matter if potential donors want to assess the operational performance of the organization?
V4CR is forced by law to file the returns of their tax exempt corporation publicly. This gives us a great insight into what is really going on. Was I correct – that nothing was done to stop child sex trafficking and Sawyer had been spending most of his time swelling the coffers of his corporation?
Let’s take a look.
It has now been two and a half years since Sawyer founded the organization. In the official narrative this was as a result of his daughter being sexually assaulted in 2017. There is no indication that her assailant was involved in child sex trafficking, but he was recently convicted on 7 charges: 1 count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and 5 counts of sexual assault.
Sawyer is furious that the judge went “soft” on him by only sentencing him 52 years instead of 238:
Sawyer has now taken down the page on his web site that said they actually began filming their documentary in 2015.
We won’t know what happened in 2019 until about this time next year. One thing we do know: at the time of writing, there is still no documentary.
Sawyer promoted to his audience in August 2018 that his “Contraland” film was going to be screening on NetFlix. It is now almost a year since that whole situation blew up. As far as I know the production company has not been charged with any crime, despite Sawyer’s claims at the time that “this was now a criminal matter”.
Sawyer provided an update on Contraland last week on Doug Hagmann. He said he now has completed the documentary and they are just looking for distribution. We will give him the benefit of the doubt that this is true. He also claims that the production company manager is about to get convicted, and they have retrieved all of the original Contraland footage that was stolen. The music composer is spending 5 weeks on the music score, Sawyer hopes to have the movie out by November 2019.
The 2018 V4CR report claims that 9 pedophiles were arrested as a result of sting operations. While this is great, none of them were child sex traffickers. As far as I can tell, no children were rescued. Sawyer’s own (adult) daughter participated in some of the operations. A runaway was taken in by the couple who worked with Sawyer organizing the sting operations.
In 2018 and 2019 we have seen active participation from V4CR at NASCAR events. A lot of fun for the team, I’m sure.
The company spent $36,378 on advertising and promotion. Billboards? Sponsoring race cars? That’s what is visible.
Their nationwide volunteer team performed 35 public outreach events. Is each NASCAR appearance included in this count? Just wondering…
Meanwhile how many children are imprisoned and being smuggled? How many rape trees are still out there?
For more on the “Rape Trees” episode see #govLARP.
Sawyer made 50 media appearances – about 1 a week, for $1.2 million. Nice work if you can get it. I know many YouTubers who are doing interviews every single day and would be delighted to get 1/100th of that for their troubles.
The arrestees in V4CR stings have been pedophile johns, responding to ads on the Internet; not traffickers, politicians or high-level elites.
Sawyer claims 14 arrests total, plus his daughter’s attacker. That is $85,000 per pedo arrested. Far more children could be rescued from sex trafficking just by spending $1.2 million buying them from the traffickers.
Veterans for Child Rescue was founded specifically to help bring an end to child trafficking. 2 and a half years in, it’s hard to point to anything they have done that actually advanced that mission. Busting pedos will not stop child trafficking, or rescue children who are the victims of it. Maybe a movie will wake people up, make them say “no more child sex trafficking”. But is there really anyone out there condoning it right now? I would think most people would be horrified by the thought of it. Perhaps I’m out of touch with modern values.
The Combined column gives the best picture of what has been going on.
In 2018, almost 33 cents out of each dollar people gave Vets4ChildRescue went back out to the Sawyers. The costs of the sting operations seem to be paid by the local law enforcement that conducts them. If travel is required, V4CR has a nice budget for that.
Another 10 cents out of each dollar ended up just sitting there in the organization’s bank account, unspent surplus.
52 cents in each dollar has gone to making a documentary. Stay tuned…coming soon. I hope it’s great. So far I just see great marketing.
They misplaced a couple of bank accounts with about $10,000 in them on last years’ tax return:
This may account for a discrepancy we found in the 2017 returns, where Alex Jones said he had donated $100,000 but was only recorded in the books for $90,000.
The budget for vaccines is higher than the budget for surveillance. Maybe these guys already have all the surveillance gear they need to stop child sex trafficking.
As well as paying himself a salary, and whoever and whatever “contract labor” and “other professional fees” represent, Sawyer draws from the company indirectly by charging them for “security” services. We previously presented multiple pieces of evidence indicating that Sawyer charged the movie production company for these services also.
How much protection did these former Navy SEALs really need from 9 pedophiles to do these “stings”? Could they not bring one of their handguns for free? Arizona is a “Constitutional Carry” state, which means you do not even need a permit to carry a concealed firearm if you are over 21. This should not matter anyway, since Sawyer’s team are filming law enforcement who are the ones actually arresting the predators in these sting operations.
Is this protection, or a racket?
It will be interesting see what happens to these accounts in the future when Contraland comes out. Will the distribution revenues and related expenses pass through this organization, or another one?
A massive amount of money was taken from the donations and given to the production company, about $620,000 or 52%. It is hard to see how they could be charged for theft when Sawyer was paying them and now has the footage. Seems more like a civil matter. I’m still not sure if Sawyer plans to release a movie or a TV series, but either way, it doesn’t sound like an outrageous budget. I will reserve further judgement until I see the final product.
Revenue from Burning Man event $42.8 million, up over $5 million from 2016
Annual Surplus (Revenue less Expenses): $3,733,876
Donations received almost $1 million
salaries (including contractors) increased $2.1 million
Cash and receivables: $11.75 million, up from $9.5 million in 2016
Total assets: $27.8 million
Sales of inventory was $1,605,516. That’s a lot of ice and coffee. Ice cost $596,177.
Medical expenses were $649,000.
Their stock donation program seems to be working, with a donation of $26,517 in marketable securities.
Most of the key personnel got pay rises in 2017, though some went down:
Overall payroll including contractors is $18,703,754 = 42% of revenues.
Grants as a % of revenues = 3.8% . Note this includes the cost of building The Man, the base structure, and partial funding of Playa art projects including the Temple.
The list of grant recipients contains many familiar names.
Burners Without Borders made 4 grants, totalling $4,900. [* this is for grants outside the US and has been disputed by BWB director Breedlove. See comments. I have asked him to provide the correct information, I will add it to the post – Ed.]
The annual Artumnal gathering took in $629,404 in 2017. About $100,000 of this went to pay for the use of the facility:
This is a substantial increase on 2016:
A huge thank you to A Balanced Perspective, DS and Anonymous Burner for their contributions and thoughts.
Artists receive less than 2% of the budget (approx $800,000)
Regionals receive about 4% of the budget ($1,717,766)
About 9% of the budget gets piled up in the bank account as cash.
Anonymous Burner says:
The art funding is constantly presented as a central tenant of the event, but is actually getting funded like an afterthought. Artists are the face and the creativity of the core of the event, but have to carry their art on their own backs while others claim credit for making things so great for them
What does an organization trying to “make the world a better place” through art need with so much cash, into the tens of millions of dollars? Why do they spend such a tiny amount of the money given to them by Burners every year on art? Why do the ticket revenues increase 10% a year but the art budget seems to keep proportionally shrinking?
How can they justify spending $1 million a year on insurance without providing insurance for the 10,000 or so workers on site building the city, art installations and camps? Would it really kill their vision to make $3.5 million a year instead of $3.9 million, and look after their workers better?
Why does the main “charitable” organization have to spend more on the Regional Events than they give out on grants? It’s about double the art budget. Is the purpose of Burning Man to spread Burner culture around the world through art, or is it to expand their inefficient bureaucracy? Can’t the Regional events support themselves?
The number of paid participants according to calculations in the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office report was 69,493.
I filed a FOIA request to get the 2017 vendor list: 84 companies selling things other than ice and coffee.
DS has also been filing FOIA requests for information about Burning Man. He was able to get this heavily redacted information for 2017, the calculations used to pay the Bureau of Land Management’s 3% fee.
Why the need for such secrecy?
The bulk of the $4,349,723 in Permits, Taxes and Fees appears to be the 9% Nevada Live Entertainment Tax. [* see comments – Ed.]
One of the interesting things in the 990 is the listing of “related entities”. It includes Decommodification LLC, but the share of end of year assets is $0.
Decommodification LLC is the organization that was created at the same time as the non-profit Burning Man Project, to hold all the intellectual property. As far as we can tell, it gets paid $75,000 per year in royalties from the Burning Man Project for use of their trademarks. We have no information on what other royalties it earns, for example from sales of the documentary “Spark” or the “lines around the block” Smithsonian exhibit. Google recently commissioned Burning Man to design a $2 million art installation for their campus: where does this money go? Five lucky artists will get a share, most likely the “big names” who appear in the grants list on a regular basis. Is there a royalty component to deals like this?
Decommodification LLC made two filings to the California Secretary of State on January 16, 2019. One was that “nothing has changed”, and another one requested that the company registration be canceled. It seems strange to me to file “no change” and “cancellation” notices on the same date, if anyone has knowledge of how this process works please leave a comment.
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the trademarks were transferred from Decommodification LLC back to the Burning Man Project on 28 April 2018 – the day Larry Harvey passed away.
The “nunc pro tunc” is a retroactive assignment to correct an earlier ruling. Was this something to do with Larry’s estate?
What happened to the rest of the intellectual property, including the rights to future royalty streams?
Were the trademarks assigned back to the Burning Man Project for free, Decommodification LLC dissolved, and the accumulated cash of 6-7 years of royalties distributed to the members? Or was some of that $12 million cash hoard used to purchase them?
These transactions occurred in 2018, so perhaps will get covered in next year’s IRS Form 990. There is no mention of them on the Burning Man web site, despite this being perhaps the most significant thing BMorg have done since spinning off their non-profit in 2012. BMorg like to claim they’re a “leader in radical transparency”, but Decommodification Inc has always been a mysterious black box.
The 2017 Form 990 values the Burning Man Project’s intangible assets at $4.23 million, but this was before the trademark transfer. This amount first appeared on the books in 2014. We believe it represents goodwill on the acquisition of Black Rock City, LLC from the Founders.
In 2016 BMorg bought a 3800 acre parcel of land known as “Fly Ranch” with big donations and paid $6.5 million. This is why the 2016 donations were more than $8 million.
Around 42:30 in the above video, they start talking about “community ownership of land”. The communist social justice component of this vision is that “living off the land is a version of Universal Basic Income”.
Five minutes into the video, they reveal that the land has been sub-divided into 53 different parcels.
Who gets a permanent Burning Man lot? Presumably the 6 5 Founders and the millionaires who put up the $6.5 million. Will the rest be auctioned off to the highest bidder, or handed out to the most favored staff, artists, and camps? I’m tipping Dancetronauts are not on the short list.
This reminds me of an earlier post, Get Your Timeshare Slot in the Sultan. There, I postulated that the “ironic timeshare sales” brochures being handed out from a booth at the Man base was actually Burning Man’s way of bringing that in as a future reality.
The same thing happened with hotels, where BMorg director Chris Weitz opened an “ironic hotel” at Ashram Galactica, which paved the way for the proliferation of luxury Plug-N-Play hotel camps today.
Some information about the original intention for Fly Ranch is available thanks to the Wayback Machine
You can see from the plan above that the property is adjacent to another playa. Hualapai Flat is land administered by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.
From the January 2018 report, it looks like this deal is close to being done:
Who else would want empty desert playa?
The original vision for the Fly Ranch site was a sustainable community of one acre lots for employees and affiliates, with its own airstrip. This plan talks about 9 parcels of 5 acres, each with their own access roads; and 73 parcels of 1 acre each.
Village and Residential sites
The two communities are based on Burning Man’s Ten Principles, and this will be it’s first year-round expression. Employees and affiliates may build on a ‘Homestead’ basis, or rent or buy into the Village community at the project’s north end. For others, one acre lots may be bought for home construction in the project’s central development (and separate H.O.A). These areas will be allowed to grow incrementally, with roads and utilities phased as required. Geo- thermal electricity will serve all the lighting and cooling needs of residents (and possibly the valley’s ranchers as well), and hot water will provide all heating.
Organic vegetable farming will be developed as an economic base for the village community. Geo-thermally heated greenhouse organic farming will be operated for local needs, and for transport and sale. This can supply Reno with organic vegetables throughout the year, while creating a wholly independent economy for the community.
Even with limited use, the grassy banks of the vernal pools are being sloughed in by bathers, the pools gradually churned into shallow mud holes. Bathers also leave tanning lotions, insect repellants, and other contaminants behind to ill effect. The pond waters contain a species of pupfish which are isolated by the underground source and terminal outflow.
A nature preserve requires control and enforcement, accordingly this area must be properly fenced to admit access only to indigenous animals, but excluding horses or cattle which trample wetlands. Human access must be highly regulated, with trespass, hunting and public use of existing pools and hot springs banned.
Anticipating the utter destruction of too much love, together with the projected costs of controlling and insuring against increasing liability, it is suggested that a Land Conservancy that is affiliated with Burning Man be created to manage the Geyser and wetland area.
This will epitomize the style of Fly Ranch, and become a beacon for the greater community. A restaurant, rooms and services will be available. Fly Lodge will be available for public and corporate use, while also serving as World Headquarters for Burning Man’s Regional organizations around the globe.
Burning Man Board Member Chip Conley’s experience with luxury boutique hotels and AirBNB would come in handy for a plan like this.
How Much For That Oasis In The Desert?
Burning Man’s balance sheet shows land, buildings and equipment of $11.9 million; net of depreciation, $9.9 million. Schedule D, Part VI lists the value of land as $7,233,545 and buildings at $979,870. In 2015, before the Fly Ranch purchase, land was $198,000 and buildings $979,780.
According to Nevada property records, Fly Ranch only cost about $2.6M. The Washoe sales records record two transactions for $2.377M and $0.240M. The water rights came under two different transactions and appear to not have specific value attached to them. The water rights transactions gave the prior owner only about 64 acre feet of water for livestock.
There were four transactions in 2016:
1) sale of 3,381 acres that was the majority of FR,
2) another 276 acres that was part of the FR with the geyser
These sold the mineral rights but not the water but referred to other linked sales of water rights.
3) transfer of water rights with a carve out for the prior owner for item 1).
4) transfer of water rights with a carve out for the prior owner for item 2).
Surface water rights initiated by applying water to beneficial use prior to March 1, 1905, and which have been perpetuated or continuously used through the years are known as vested water rights
The main water rights for the hot springs, Cottonwood Creek and Little Cottonwood Creek are the rare and highly coveted “vested water rights”, granted before 1905.
My source tells me that the Burning Man event draws 12 million gallons of water per year from this property (27 acre feet).
We recently published discussion from the Washoe County Commissioner’s meeting about the possibility of redrawing district boundaries so that Burning Man would be part of Washoe County (which gets the economic benefits from event-related tourism) instead of Pershing County (which gets a massive spike in crime rates with no economic benefits).
Fly Ranch is next to Hualapai Flat. Burning Man was held at this location once, in 1997. Hualapai Flat is where Pershing, Washoe, and Humboldt Counties meet. Fly Geyser is in Washoe County.
Is the proposed Washoe Boundary move related to long-standing plans to purchase Hualapai Flat? Is BMorg sitting on $4 million from the Fly Ranch donations to acquire this land?
I guess time will tell.
[Update Feb 7, 2019 2:11pm]
The plot thickens, with this post saying that Burning Man was under contract to purchase Fly Ranch in 2009, and real estate developer Build SF helped organize their corporate restructuring to provide “personal financial security” for the 6 Burning Man founders.
In 2009, the BUILD partners were introduced to Larry Harvey and his partners at the Burning Man Organization. Burning Man was in contract to acquire a 4,000-acre ranch in the Nevada desert on which they planned to move the annual Burning Man event as well as develop a desert art center.
BUILD facilitated a transaction that allowed Burning Man to adjust its corporate structure, manage tax requirements, protect trademarks, establish a permanent office, and provide personal financial security for the six Burning Man partners. Real estate provided an elegant solution for these complex, multi-dimensional challenges, while preserving and honoring the basic precepts of Burning Man. We are proud of the part we played as advisors to Burning Man in establishing a clear path and solid foundation for everyone’s long-term benefit, including the event itself.
I have another trusted source who drew the “intellectual property in a separate company” structure on a napkin for CEO Maid Marian. I will ask their opinion on this.
[Update Feb 13. 2019 4:06pm]
Breedlove head of BWB has updated us with some more detail:
It’s interesting to see the difference between Part III 4c & Schedule F Part 1. I don’t quite understand how they split the difference between those two sections.
We also provided grants for Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief at $21,317.12
There was also a series of Fiscal Sponsor funds that were raised and given out. One of those being the $30,363 for the Camp Epic Santa Rosa Fire Relief (which is in one of your screenshots above)— but I don’t have the ability to pull up all those numbers at this time.
I’m also realizing while going through my data that it isn’t the easiest to find some of this stuff unless you know where to look. So taking a note on improving our reporting systems for the future– I appreciate the opportunity to look at how we can do better at reporting in a more transparent and better to find way.