Founder of Play)A(Skool Indicted After Major Drug Trafficking Bust [Update]


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;
  • 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. [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.”

[Source]

It all began at Burning Man, according to a civil lawsuit against Pack and his accomplices:

Screenshot 2017-07-06 15.21.28

[Source]

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 HendersonNicole Schmidt, Scott Pack, Jay RockliffeEmre ÖzaltinAnnette 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.

scott.pack.png

Reblogged from The Cannabist:


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.”

[Source: The Cannabist]


[Update 7/7/17]

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.

Or both.

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.

Burner Steals Mansion

Is this an example of Burning Man values spreading around the world – the wrong way?


From the SF Chronicle

Image: Paul Chinn, SF Chronicle

Image: Paul Chinn, SF Chronicle

The vagabond artist and alleged thief at the center of one of San Francisco’s strangest real estate tales admitted Tuesday that he squatted in a historic Presidio Heights mansion for weeks and sold off its pricey paintings, but explained he was claiming ownership of the derelict estate.

“To me, I owned the house,” Jeremiah Kaylor, 39, said from the San Francisco jail, where he was booked Sunday on suspicion of trespassing and burglary. “When I first saw it, I thought to myself, ‘This is it. This is my headquarters. This is my thug mansion.’”

Image: Jeremiah Kaylor/SF Chronicle

Image: Jeremiah Kaylor/SF Chronicle

The three-story, eight-bedroom home — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — was built in 1904 and modeled after the Petit Trianon, a Versailles chateau constructed for French King Louis XV. Cnet founder Halsey Minor bought it for $22 million in 2007 but went bankrupt and never followed through on plans to restore it to glory.

Now it’s listed at just over $17 million, down from $25 million when it first went on the market in 2012. The city has repeatedly declared it abandoned, most recently on Tuesday.

But Kaylor may have been drawn by something else — a rumor that pop star Taylor Swift was considering buying the mansion and fixing it up. Kaylor is obsessed with Swift, in part because her first name and his last name are similar, according to a friend.

Kaylor…stayed at the home for more than two months. His claim of squatter’s rights was countered by San Francisco police officials, who said the intruder stole and sold paintings worth well over $300,000 — most of which were quickly recovered.

Kaylor said he sold the premium stereo system, as well as a Viking stove and some chandeliers, then used the money to travel for a few months before returning to the home two months ago. He said he had spent every night since then at the estate, with the exception of three trips, including one to Burning Man.

Image: Jeremiah Kaylor/SF Chronicle

Image: Jeremiah Kaylor/SF Chronicle

Still in need of cash, he said he began selling artwork to pawn shops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, books to nearby Green Apple Books and other household items, which he brought to the Tenderloin and laid out on a blanket.

Kaylor said he wrote up paperwork saying the property wasn’t being taken care of and he was taking ownership under “adverse possession laws.”

Throughout the interview, Kaylor’s thoughts wandered. He spoke of growing up in Massachusetts, a stint as a heroin addict in his mid-20s and his love for his four children. But he also spoke of fantastical plans, including a 2016 presidential bid. He said he and Swift were destined to end up together.

Image: Jeremiah Kaylor/SF Chronicle

Image: Jeremiah Kaylor/SF Chronicle

Read the rest of the story at the SF Chronicle.

Radical inclusion. Everyone’s welcome, even thieves and squatters.

“Everything’s free”, the bike theft mentality. Grifting, not gifting.”Gift me that immediately!”

#1 Crime of the Summer: and Burning Man is an Accessory

bike moop…so says the Reno Gazette Journal, anyway. Bike theft has become a huge problem in Reno this summer, and Burning Man is getting blamed. Bike theft on the Playa has been a big problem for the last few years, too – even Burning Man acknowledges that. Lock up your bikes, people! Just because there is a culture of Gifting, doesn’t mean that there isn’t also a growing culture of Taking and Entitlement. Bike MOOP is also a growing problem, too, with thousands of bikes being abandoned on the Playa every year.

From the RGJ:


 

Police: Reno bike thefts up; suspected Burning Man link

Bike theft is the No. 1 property crime in Reno’s downtown corridor this summer, police say — and Burning Man could be an accessory.

bike-theftSummer temperatures and more people on bikes play a factor in the theft increase, Reno police Sgt. Dan Thompson said. But he said police sources also indicate there could be a link to Burning Man.

“It’s a timing thing,” Thompson said. “The only time we receive this volume each year is (the weeks) prior to the event,” which begins Aug. 25 and lasts for one week.

Bicycling is the main source of transportation at the event, held on the playa about 100 miles north of Reno.

Kevin Campbell, a Reno Bike Project mechanic, said the number of fliers for stolen bikes at the Reno Bike Project have outpaced those in previous years by a significant amount.

“There’s been a large string of bike thefts this year,” Campbell said. “It is actually really bad.”

Campbell attributed the rise in bike theft to more people riding bikes, whether as a result of the city’s emerging bike culture or favorable weather conditions, he said.

Campbell denied seeing a link between Burning Man and bike theft in Reno, and Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham agreed.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Graham said.

YellowBikesThe Yellow Bike Program, a community bike program providing free-rental use, has been in existence for years to prevent bike theft at Burning Man, and the festival acknowledges the crime is an issue on the playa.

To catch bike thieves in Reno, the downtown enforcement team plants high-end bikes in the downtown district under officer surveillance.

“In year’s past, it has been successful,” Thompson said.

However, no one has taken the bait this year, Thompson said.

Using the right lock, most often a U-lock mounted to a sturdy base, ideally a bike rack, is the best way to combat theft, Campbell and Thompson said.

“Always lock your bike,” Campbell said. “Even if you are just running quickly inside a store, you don’t want to leave the bike unlocked. It takes less than 30 seconds to steal a bike.”

Thompson said people should also keep a record of their bike’s serial number.

 

Hot Wheels: Bike Thieves Beware

by Whatsblem the Pro

Bike-Thief-2

The latest issue of The Jack Rabbit Speaks links to a survey about stolen bicycles:

“Runs With Scissors has a cool project:

“It happens frequently: in the worst situation, you may find yourself exhausted after a party in deep playa – and the bicycle you were planning to ride back on is no where to be found, but a mangled wreck with a broken chain has been left as a sorry replacement. There are stories of people who have bicycles taken from racks in the backs of their camps on the first day and there are stories of people lifting whole clumps of chained bicycles and putting them into trucks.

YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

“The trouble is that I only have stories and I want real statistics. I want to build a map that tells me where the most likely place is for a bicycle to be lost. I want to know what the qualities are of a bicycle is that makes it more likely to disappear.

“If we have enough data points, we can learn when and where we need to protect ourselves and how to prevent this from happening to ourselves. If you have ever had a bicycle disappear, please take the time to fill out the quick survey below.”

Life is so unfair

Life is so unfair

What really interested me about this JRS item was the mention of “people lifting whole clumps of chained bicycles and putting them into trucks.”

While wandering in the deep playa this year, I happened upon two separate caches of perhaps a hundred to two hundred bicycles each. They were mostly high-end steeds, and they were all lying down and locked, some to each other. These big caches of locked bikes weren’t near anything whatsoever; they looked as though they were just waiting for a big rig to pull up and someone to load them in.

It's better exercise than a handbasket

It’s better exercise than a handbasket

It’s undeniable that, after Exodus, a huge number of lost and abandoned bikes remains on the playa, deliberately ditched by departing attendees from far-flung corners of the Earth, or taken for an unauthorized joyride and abandoned, or simply lost and forgotten by their owners in the general frenzy. They’re not typically locked, though, and this wasn’t after Exodus; these caches of mystery bikes were there before the temple burned.

Three hundred used high-end bicycles sold at a cut rate of a hundred dollars each brings in thirty thousand dollars.

Is an organized bike theft ring operating in Black Rock City?

Kentucky Fried Camp’s Packed U-Haul Stolen in the East Bay

by Whatsblem the Pro

The missing truck bears this design, #107 in U-Haul's "Venture Across America" series

The missing truck bears this design, #107 in U-Haul’s “Venture Across America” series

Kentucky Fried Camp, a group of mostly Kentuckians and San Franciscans originally from Kentucky, is a breakfast camp on the 3:00 Plaza whose gingham-clad crew of sixty souls serves fried baloney sandwiches with shots of bourbon, accompanied by compliments delivered via megaphone. KFC also holds an annual race in high heels known as the Whoreshoe Derby, and is planning a cotillion this year featuring Southern belles in electrically-illuminated hoop skirts.

Early this morning, their packed U-Haul truck was stolen, depriving the entire camp of critical gear for their stay on the playa.

“There has been an incredible outpouring of community support,” says Guy Shochat, a representative of the camp. “We already have a free loan of a Mutant Vehicle trailer, which we’ll need, since ours was attached when the truck was stolen. We’re very happy that the art car itself wasn’t on it at the time. We’ve been given a dome, some shade, tents, serving tables, and the equipment we’ll need to run our baloney kitchen. Cool Neon has kindly offered us EL wire at-cost, and a few burners have volunteered cash donations. We are hemorrhaging money buying new shade, water containers, and other necessary supplies. Sadly, our epic outhouse shower is gone, and we still need bicycles, air mattresses, costumes — waaaahh, lost costumes! — and hugs.”

Kentucky Fried Camp hasn’t just been deprived of the things they’ll need to take care of themselves on the playa, continues Shochat. “We give away ridiculous amounts of food and booze every year, without any fundraising. It all comes out of our pockets as internal contributions. This is the first time we’ve ever felt any need to ask for any kind of outside help at all. . . and I must say, the burners are coming through big for us so far. We are being kept very busy with the emergency purchase of things we need, as the money becomes available. Simple contributions like bikes and costumes delivered on playa will really help, and we will return them to you happily after the burn. We are picking up our custom smoked baloney now and breakfast will still happen!”

Shochat goes on to say that the response of the burner community so far has renewed his faith in humanity in general. “I went today from despondent to realizing that there are many more good people out there than bad,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.

The truck, which was parked in the East Bay area near San Francisco before it was apparently hot-wired and stolen, is a 17-foot U-Haul with an auto-transport trailer attached. The design on the side of the truck is U-Haul’s “Venture Across America” #107, which is based on Mississippi wildlife and features a picture of a Mississippi Sandhill Crane, a long-billed bird with a bright red head and white neck feathers. The truck bears Arizona license plate AB-89694.

“We’re struggling right now,” says Mick Jeffries, a compatriot of Shochat’s. “But people are rising to the occasion. Our biggest camp ever, over sixty people coming from both Kentucky and California, has lost everything. Any help spreading the word is most gratefully appreciated.”

If you spot the stolen truck, do not attempt to confront the occupants; assume they are armed and dangerous. Contact local law enforcement! If you tweet, you can also hashtag #KFCtheft to let the Kentucky Fried crew know that you’re on the case.

You can donate to the camp’s relief and make sure they’re out there serving up baloney and booze by sending your PayPal contribution to the KFC general fund at skhendel@gmail.com.