A Ventura County Superior Court judge dropped criminal charges against Jeffrey Kroll, the president and co-founder of the Shangri La Care Cooperative in Ojai. Kroll faced dozens of felony charges, including fraud, manufacturing cannabis and maintaining a place for selling or using marijuana. He also faced charges of conspiracy to sell marijuana. In addition, prosecutors charged Kroll with tax code violations, including failing to file income tax reports as well as filing false tax returns.
Prosecutors accused Kroll of wildly inflating the price of marijuana charged to co-op members. They also claimed that Kroll was manufacturing cannabis oil within 250 feet of a school. They also accused Kroll of redirecting co-op funds into his personal accounts.
The Court dropped some of the charges against Kroll at an earlier hearing. In that hearing, Superior Court Judge Michelle Castillo ruled that the prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence to proceed with their case. In the most recent hearing, Judge Michael Leif ruled that the prosecutors had failed to properly file charges against Kroll, so he dropped the remaining charges.
After the hearing, prosecutors vowed to refile charges against Kroll. According to procedural rules, they have three years to refile misdemeanor charges. They also have four years to refile felony charges. Two other Shangri La officers face trial on related charges, including conspiracy, misdemeanor possession and misdemeanor transportation.
In a separate action, co-op members filed a $12M lawsuit against Ventura County for its role in shutting down the co-op. In that lawsuit, co-op members claim that the county’s illegal pursuit of the co-op denied them access to medical marijuana. Several co-op patients have died since the co-op stopped operating, and several others are near death.
Ojai Fraud Attorney
If you’re facing fraud charges in Ojai, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and takes cases in Ventura County. He also takes cases throughout Southern California.
Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get charges against you reduced or dropped. He will also ensure that prosecutors follow the law to the letter as they attempt to prosecute the case against you.
Thousands of Californians have relied on Mr. Helfend’s aggressive defense style. He has nearly 35 years of courtroom experience and knows what it takes to succeed. Don’t rely on inexperienced attorneys, or timid counsel that won’t fight for your rights and freedoms.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County fraud case.
Photo Credit: Tanjila Ahmed, via Flickr.com