The popular live event and music venue in Salt Lake City, Utah, is currently being federally investigated for money laundering, illegal cannabis business, and illegal marijuana sales and distribution.
Monday, October 15th, the authorities released an indictment against the promoters of The Complex in Utah, Salt Lake City. According to the indictment, the FBI has based this indictment on the grounds that the concert business has been run with the profits from an illegal marijuana distribution business.
Authorities are accusing the promoters of using at least $1 million from their illegal marijuana business. The indictment consists of 13-counts and is made against three individuals that are believed to be behind the illegal cannabis business of distributing and selling marijuana across California to Utah. The indictment specifies that the illegal operation ran from April 2007 to December 2013. An approximate amount of 2 and a half thousand pounds of cannabis was sold and distributed.
Additionally, the indictment states that the three individuals behind the business laundered an approximate amount of $5 million through their other companies, Bondad Productions, and The Complex- both of which are in the music and live entertainment industry. Bondad Productions is known as a promoter for EDM music and The Complex is a popular music venue located in Salt Lake City. The three individuals are facing charges of money laundering and the “possession with intent to sell a controlled substance.”
Furthermore, the federal indictment states that the three individual had a plan to expand the unlicensed business; they had plans to build a network for growers and cultivators in California and to connect them with drivers that would deliver the marijuana from Salt Lake City to areas in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Once in the destination, the marijuana would be packaged in the appropriate branding or packaging and then distributed to sellers and buyers. Along with the marijuana, the indictment indicates that money would also be delivered from SLC to marijuana sellers dispensaries within the California area. The indictment further states that the three individuals had already used this system to deliver $1 million hidden in a structure designed to resemble the Empire State Building. The indictment goes on the state that the three individuals had an enterprise that involved the services of six drivers and four suppliers.
The Complex was developed in 2009. The authorities have said that the $1.3 million that was used for development of The Complex was derived from monies attained from the illegal marijuana business. According to the report, both companies were used in the following way:
- $400, 000 laundered through Bondad Productions
- $900,000 cash paid for construction and development of The Complex
According to the indictment, one of the individuals paid a weekly sum of $50,000 for the development of The Complex. These weekly sums apparently paid the foreman in charge of the construction project. According to prosecutors, the illegal operation continued once the venue had officially opened for business; there were two separate books for monies. One set of books was set aside for the illegal monies (where marijuana sales and transportation profits and expenses were recorded) and the other set was set up as a ‘fake’ set of books to show a legal operation. According to the prosecutors, the recorded sales of tickets and concert merchandise was used to launder the marijuana sales.
The three individuals facing these accusations could be dealt with a prison sentence of 10 years to life. Furthermore, the prosecutors are requesting a civil forfeiture for The Complex, two additional properties in Utah and a diamond worth $70,000 that is believed to have been purchased with money made in illegal profits.
According to statelaws.findlaw.com, marijuana law is strict; possession and the sale of marijuana is illegal. The possession and sale of marijuana could lead to a conviction of by to 15 years in prison. The final conviction depends on the amount of the sale, where the sale took place and the criminal background of the defendant. Utah law does allow those suffering from epilepsy to use CBD products to assist in the management of the disorder. However, the amount of CBD allowed for the medical treatment is limited.
A comment made by the The Complex’s Facebook page admin states that the existing schedule is remaining the same and no changes are on the horizon. The Complex’s official website states that it is the headquarters for Salt Lake City’s live music and entertainment scene. The music venue consists of 4 different venues on the 42,000 property. The venue hosts both national and international performing artists; ranging from music artists to MMA fighters.