California cannabis business owner pleads guilty to bribery, tax evasion

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Cannabis businessperson Helios Dayspring entered formal guilty pleas to federal criminal charges, apparently ending a lengthy corruption saga involving multiple marijuana companies and local California officials.

According to the Santa Maria Times, Dayspring appeared in court on Friday via Zoom to enter guilty pleas for one charge of bribery and one of tax evasion.

He agreed to a plea deal in July, and the town of San Luis Obispo subsequently revoked the business license of one of his four stores.

Dayspring, the owner of Natural Healing Center and 805 Agricultural Holdings, bribed a former San Luis Obispo County supervisor in exchange for favors. He also was found to have not paid federal taxes or reported any income for a five-year span.

The supervisor he bribed – Adam Hill – committed suicide in 2020.

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Dayspring was also accused of attempting to bribe the mayor of Grover Beach, but the mayor declined the bribe.

Dayspring is slated to be sentenced Feb. 11 in Los Angeles.

He faces a maximum penalty of 13 years in prison and a $500,000 fine as well as the $3.4 million he has agreed to pay the IRS in back taxes.