Verde Leaf president and CEO handed prison sentence due to fraudulent business activity with hemp farmers in three states.
A June 14 press release (1) from the US Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina stated that a Georgia man was recently sentenced to three years in federal prison and must pay $2 million for false claims he made with hemp farmers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The case was investigated by the FBI (1).
According to the press release, Rahsaan Jackson Garth formed the company Verde Leaf in 2017 after being released from prison on fraud charges related to a healthcare scam (1), and in 2020 held a workshop with South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) for potential hemp farmers, claiming to have finalized network and deals with food companies, pet companies, and pharmaceutical companies (1,2).
“At Verde Leaf ™ we address the challenges farmers face in the hemp arena including license acquisition, hemp cultivation & processing, and industry knowledge,” stated the company’s website, which as of June 22nd, 2023 had expired (3).
“Based in part on these knowing misrepresentations, farmers entered into contracts with Verde Leaf to grow hemp,” the press release stated. “Verde Leaf assisted these farmers with their hemp crops. However, Verde Leaf was unable to consummate the deals referenced at the SCDA meeting to distribute or sell products. Therefore, Verde Leaf was unable to process the hemp or pay most of the farmers for their crops and had to declare bankruptcy. As a result of the false statements that lured the farmers into doing business with Garth, the farmers suffered great financial harm,” (1).