Former California Dispensary Owner Faces Federal Incarceration For Bribery & Tax Manipulation

Former California Dispensary Owner Faces Federal Incarceration For Bribery & Tax Manipulation - Marijuana Packaging

Helios Raphael Dayspring, founder and former CEO of the Natural Healing Center, has agreed to plead guilty to several felony charges, pay $3.4 million in restitution to the IRS, and cooperate with an ongoing investigation.

Dayspring admitted to underreporting more than $3.4 million on his personal income on his federal tax returns for four years. Dayspring admitted that he and a business associate offered a $100,000 bribe in exchange for two dispensary licenses to former Grover Beach Mayor John Shoals in September 2017. Shoals never responded to the offer.

Dayspring also admitted to bribing a total of $32,000 to San Louis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill for votes favoring legislation that permitted Dayspring’s cannabis farms to operate prior to final approval. Hill died by suicide in August 2020. Dayspring then stepped down as Natural Healing Center CEO, “to devote his energy and attention to other personal avenues of opportunity.”

In March 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a search and seizure warrant at San Luis Obispo County Government Center as part of an ongoing public corruption inquiry in San Luis Obispo County. Agents also searched a Pismo Beach home and an undisclosed third location on the same day.

Dayspring has also been embroiled in a series of lawsuits from former business partners, including a lawsuit by investor William Szymczak, who claims Dayspring allegedly diverted millions in company funds to himself and used some to try to stave off IRS and FBI investigations. It is unclear what will happen to his businesses now that Dayspring has been charged.

Once Dayspring officially pleads guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in federal custody.

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