Disbarred Lawyer Indicted for Weed Dispensary Scam
A story of a weed dispensary scam, a disbarred lawyer-turned-con-artist, and a man on the run.
A disbarred lawyer in Las Vegas was indicted for conning three different investors into financing a medical weed dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada that never actually existed. It’s a tale of a weed dispensary scam for the ages, especially since the suspect is nowhere to be found.
The lawyer-cum-scam-artist in question, Easton K. Harris, masterminded the con with his partner and childhood friend Jonathan Peirsol. Together, they convinced investors to funnel thousands of dollars into a fake LLC, which the pair named Original Sin Organics. (Because, you know, that is definitely the name of a legitimate business. Definitely.)
Making a Marijuana Scammer
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Harris previously displayed a propensity for swindling the system.
The former lawyer was disbarred by the Nevada State Bar in 2015 after officials uncovered a total of 100 violations against him. Twenty-three of them negatively affected or involved his own clients. For example, Harris got in trouble for charging clients for work he subsequently would not do, as well as spending money that was given to him for fiduciary safekeeping.
After he was forced to abandon his career, Harris teamed up with Peirsol and registered his medicinal marijuana dispensary company through the Nevada secretary of state’s office. (For the record, while recreational cannabis sales in Nevada went into effect this summer, medicinal weed has been sanctioned in the state since 2001.)
The registration, which has now been terminated, was technically the closest the company ever came to fruition. But then again, that was the plan all along.
Working the (Weed) System
To investors, Sin City Organics originally held some semblance of legitimacy—especially considering Harris falsely presented himself as a still-licensed attorney.
One such patron said the duo picked her up from the airport and took her to the “site” of the purported future growing facility.
“When they arrived, they got out of the car and Harris began looking into the window of the building,” she said.
The woman then stated that the real owner of the building, who has not been publicly identified, proceeded to ask the trio who they were. He then permitted them to look around the building, which was “full of junk and mechanical stuff.”
A trip to a second location commenced, but the party was not allowed access into what Harris and Peirsol claimed would eventually be their dispensary.
The woman began to doubt the legitimacy of the enterprise when she made a second trip to Las Vegas without informing either Peirsol or Harris. After finding and contacting the real owners of the properties, things looked even more suspicious, which lead her to contact local authorities. A financial investigation ensued. Harris and Peirsol now face four counts of theft. They amassed roughly $166,000, which they apparently spent on car gas, groceries, and a trip to Belize.
Final Hit: Weed Dispensary Scam Artist Wanted in Custody
After both Harris and Peirsol were arrested, they were granted separate individual trials. At the arraignment, Peirsol was taken into federal custody on a separate, unrelated charge in North Dakota.
In a strange twist, the judge ruled that Harris was to be released on his own recognizance for reasons that are currently unknown. Harris, the puppet-master of the weed dispensary scam, fled on August 11. He is currently being pursued by authorities who are trying to re-arrest him.