Sunday, October 7, 2018

Cocktails & Popcorn: What Do Donuts, Weed, Land & Public Corruption Have In Common?

Q: What do donuts, weed, land & public corruption have in common?
Image result for donuts, coffee weed
"Greed let a good thing go to waste."

A: Detroit.
Now, you know darn well they were smoked the hell out when they came up with this one.

The sad part about this story is that they actually had a really good, legal, business model, but just had to show off the fact that they are a front.

When I saw an ATM business and real estate in the same sentence, I automatically knew there is probably some form of mortgage fraud going on, and dare I say through the Detroit Land Bank Authority grow houses.

I do not believe I would be very far off if I were to allege there was a bit of political, foreign financial shenanigans when it came to being able to operate, so boldly, in the City of Detroit.

All I can say is that the Michigan Eastern District Attorneys Office is going to be busy, busy, busy because I see Corporate Shape Shifters!

"The men used other people to conceal the true identities of certain real estate and bank accounts, prosecutors said."

Holy Moly Donut Shop laundered drug cash, feds say

Detroit — The Holy Moly Donut Shop lured cops, but for all the wrong reasons.

The popular shop, where people can customize doughnuts with candy toppings, was a front for a multi-state marijuana ring, which laundered drug money through the doughnut shop, a sham marijuana dispensary next door and a business that fills ATM machines with cash, according to federal prosecutors.

The unusual drug investigation emerged Friday when Holy Moly owner Victor Attisha and two others were indicted in federal court on drug conspiracy, money laundering and other charges.

Court records and interviews chronicle more than $700,000 seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and reveal a colorful criminal investigation that illustrates the potential for criminality as Detroit's nascent medical marijuana ordinance takes effect with 75 licensed pot shops across the city.

The indictment was filed one month before Michigan voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

Attisha, 40, of Sterling Heights was charged alongside business partners Junior Asmar, 45, of Sterling Heights, and James Shammas, 38, of Shelby Township.

The drug conspiracy started in 2016 when the three men devised a scheme to make and distribute hundreds of pounds of marijuana under the guise of operating a sham marijuana dispensary that purportedly would comply with state drug laws, prosecutors said.

That sham dispensary was Unified Collective, next door to Holy Moly Donut Shop on Eight Mile, prosecutors said.

The trio had various roles manufacturing, possessing and distributing the marijuana and laundering the drug money, according to the indictment.

The marijuana was grown and cultivated in commercial and residential locations across Metro Detroit and sold throughout the region.

The men also bought hundreds of pounds of marijuana worth more than $1 million from suppliers in California and other locations to sell in Metro Detroit, according to the government.

The drug ring's operations included operations in Farmington Hills, Roseville, Shelby Township and Asmar's bedroom in Sterling Heights, the doughnut shop and Unified Collective, prosecutors said.

The 24-hour doughnut chain has four locations in Detroit: on Eight Mile east of Woodward and on Seven Mile, Telegraph Road and Grand Boulevard, according to the Holy Moly website.

Government documents obtained by The News indicate investigators seized more than $39,000 from Holy Moly and Unified Collective on Feb. 14.

The doughnut shop and dispensary were used to conceal drug proceeds and hide the source of the income, prosecutors said.

So were ATM businesses, according to the indictment.

Asmar, an employee of A&S ATM on the 24000 block of John R. Road in Hazel Park, periodically filled the machines with cash, including illegal marijuana proceeds, prosecutors said. Attisha is the company's resident agent.

From April 2016 to September 2017, more than $2.3 million was deposited into the ATM company's bank account. A nearly equal amount was withdrawn, prosecutors said.

The bank account was controlled by Asmar and Attisha, according to the government. Shammas, meanwhile, listed his profession as "ATM Consulting."

The men used other people to conceal the true identities of certain real estate and bank accounts, prosecutors said.

The real estate included commercial marijuana operations on Research Drive in Farmington Hills and in Oak Park. And a safety deposit box that held $197,140 was registered under the name of a Shammas relative.

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