An employment contract leaked by an insider at Juicy Fields reveals that Ms. Greco, a lawyer, asset manager, and cryptocurrency entrepreneur, was hired (not even full-time) by the company for the astonishing sum of 200,000 euros per month in the fall of 2020. Her job? To keep the firm in “compliance.” But given the many problems on that score, what exactly did she do – or not?
There are over a hundred firms and individuals who knowingly worked with the now-defunct scam company Juicy Fields to perpetuate the fraud and its “operations.” This is according to the data collected so by Swedish lawyer and investor advocate Lars Olofsson. He is hot on the case and beginning to kick serious ass with global implications as he moves forward on his strategy to bring the perps who facilitated the Juicy Fields scam to justice.
According to Olofsson, there is a significant paper trail and other evidence that points to the involvement of many people who cannot erase such proof now that stretches from the time of the firm’s real founding in St. Petersburg, Russia, way before its public launch (on April Fool’s Day no less) 2020 to its implosion in July 2022.
When it comes to legalese, such activities are known as “aiding and abetting.” This kind of thing is also a crime, even if the perpetrators claim they “did not know” at the time. That is also called being an accessory. Certainly, after the fact in this case if they have not already turned themselves in to their local police. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go.
Who knew what, when and the paper trail proving the same, including of the email and other digital evidence kind that exists, is long and damning. From the German side alone as will become crystal clear as the lawsuits unfold this year across Europe, including in Germany, and the US, this entire affair is going to make some powerful people in some rather far flung, if not highly placed salons and other quarters, extremely hot under the collar. See Mark Zuckerberg, for starters.
The fact is that there were many people who knew what they were doing, including lawyers, finance (including crypto), and other subject matter experts as well as people within the “legitimate” cannabis industry working in other roles who knowingly helped Juicy Fields create the illusion of being a legitimate company. These are also people and firms, according to Olofsson if not common sense, and an increasingly hard-to-ignore public record, who could not possibly have been unaware that the entire enterprise was a fraud from the get-go.
Of course, being arrogant enough to think you are not going to get caught is part of this. Not to mention the astronomical sums of money in the room (Greco’s contract is attached at the bottom of this article) and linked HERE.
These factors alone were (obviously) highly compelling, particularly during Covid, and for the vast majority of those who fell in love with the idea, invested in Juicy Fields despite the obvious warning signs if not flashing lights, and then solicited others to do the same.
In the cannabis industry, globally, which has truth been told, been wobbling on the brink of insolvency if not excuses for the last 24-36 months (see my analysis of the same circa 2019 in my book about the German cultivation bid) cash was and always will be king.
Cross that with a global heist some are already dubbing the “Wirecard” if not “Bernie Madoff” of Cannabis in some quarters, and the deets that are continuing to drip out are appallingly juicy indeed. Here is a plot spoiler to keep readers rightfully hooked. The really shocking issues are, beyond the cannabis connections, at the banks who knowingly, and even more shockingly manually, overrode their own alarms, when they did go off. Not to mention even more worryingly, the clear implications on the completely unregulated crypto side of the discussion.
That such proceeds then were clearly fed back into the legitimate banking system if not other enterprises of the legit and presumably “other” kind is also hard to ignore. And that has global implications. Given the timing of the same and the connections to the Russian mob, as Olofsson has asserted, it is reasonable to assume that some of this laundered money ended up financing part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Here is one of the clear chinks in the chain that certainly starts to show – or at a minimum point in that direction.
According to whistle-blowers now talking to Olofsson, such compensation was delivered to some perps in shopping bags full of cash. Given the firm’s “expertise” in crypto, that amount of money, not to mention far more, could also have disappeared and or been channeled very easily via digital channels. And vice versa. Especially given the lax enforcement of basic KYC, crowd-financing, securities, and other laws at Juicy Fields itself, and in every company, they operated, in any way, in every country.
One of the more interesting names to emerge so far, as a result, is a woman by the name of Francesca Greco.
Who Is Francesca Greco?
According to what is widely available on the internet and Linked In, Ms. Greco is an Italian citizen, with offices in Switzerland and currently resident in Dubai. Professionally, she is a lawyer, investment, and finance specialist, and blockchain expert.
She was the President of Alpine Asset Management between November 2017 and November 2021. Alpine was registered as a company on February 24, 2015, in Zug, Switzerland. Greco was made chair of the board on November 10, 2017. She appears to have been voted on and off the board and as an officer of the company over the next several years. She ended her tenure as a board member of the company on December 17, 2021 – about the same time that Juicy Fields whistle-blowers also say she left the employ of Juicy Fields as well.
Even more intriguingly, Alpine Asset Management was liquidated on December 2, 2022.
Greco is currently the Group CEO of AstaDux Capital in Zug.
What is even more auspicious, given the fact that Juicy Fields’ investors could pay with either a wire transfer via SEPA or via a cryptocurrency wallet, and multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether, is her involvement with the stablecoin X8.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that claim (and even occasionally achieve) they tie (or “peg”) their value to another kind of asset, commodity, currency or other “financial instrument” – in banker geek speak. As a result, the claim is that these sorts of cryptocurrencies are less volatile than those not backed by such real-world assets – including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Such cryptocurrencies also attempt to maintain the illusion of stability by maintaining reserve assets as collateral or via algorithms that supposedly control their supply. The stablecoin market is estimated to be worth about $140 billion as of 2023.
In the case of X8, the coin can be exchanged into eight different currencies. Even more intriguing is that this coin is touted as the first cryptocurrency to be given Sharia approval. This is significant because, under Muslim law, one must pay or compensate the lender or owner for borrowed assets in equivalent value (cash or otherwise). Interest or other compensation for making the loan (for example interest on such a debt) is illegal. However, one does not necessarily “have” to pay the lenders (aka Juicy Fields investors) back. Terms must be agreed upon beforehand. If the debt is not repaid, this becomes theft. According to the same, the penalty for secret stealing – aka fraud – is the removal of the offender’s right hand.
That is why Ms. Greco’s involvement with both projects is so intriguing.
Greco was associated with X8 between October 2017 to August 2020.
All of this certainly adds up to an interesting resume, that lines up exactly with some important known dates, certainly after Juicy Fields’ 2020 launch.
The fact that Greco also appears to jaunt around the world and rub shoulders with royalty and similar globetrotters of the financial elite is also worth mentioning. Particularly what is also known to date about the link to Juicy fields of an apparently black sheep member of a European aristocratic family that is also closely and historically linked to the Brits. This also appears to be a deliberate effort on the part of Juicy Fields’s ultimate founders to have a political and cultural impact.
Kai Friedrich Niermann, named by Olofsson as being directly and knowingly involved as one of Juicy’s German lawyers has publicly bragged that he is friends with national lawmakers now crafting Germany’s own recreational cannabis legalization.
What Did Francesca Greco Do (or Not)?
According to a website maintained by the “new” operators of the company (which is itself ridiculous as well as suspect given the fact that there is no way that investors will ever be made whole AND multiple violations of bankruptcy law as the firm is now in liquidation in Berlin (see the final editor’s note below), she and a firm she was associated with for about four years, including during the Juicy Fields’ active operations, were responsible for “money laundering” for the firm.
More tangible, however, is this tantalizing piece of information. According to internal leaked documents, Greco was hired by Viktor Bitner of Juicy Grow GmbH as of November 1, 2020, and paid the incredible sum of a “minimum” of 200,000 euros per month, to handle the firm’s “compliance” as well as other duties that apparently also included day to day management of company operations.
Bitner already has quite a past from information so far dug up by both Olofsson and media now covering the story. Not only does he appear to have a moderately successful career as a sausage vendor (the King or the Emperor of Bratwursts depending on which corporate entity one references), but there is some credible evidence to suggest he might also be or have been an FSB (Russian intelligence) agent exposed by Michael Steele.
Per Olofsson, “So far, the evidence that we have collected reveals this: All the Juicy Fields’ facilitators we have information on have been paid excessively. In Greco’s case, according to the job description in the contract, you can buy that kind of management consulting from any well-known, international firm for a tenth of what she was paid. The contract and the exorbitant payment in this case is the so-called ‘Hush Money.’ It is also compelling evidence that all parties knew very well this was a scam. I do not need to prove any other guilt.”
Olofsson is also a management consultant and specializes in helping legitimate companies set up similar arrangements, particularly if they are start-ups. “In my experience,” he says “given the size of the company, the job description, and that Juicy Fields was actually a start-up, the assignment would not have required more than a day of work a week.”
Given the fact that there is ample evidence at this point that Juicy Fields appears to have deliberately skirted and avoided compliance at every front and was clearly operating in dubiously compliant ways, the questions about her involvement, and why, are still very much in the room.
Not to mention raises the question, was she hired to deliberately help the company skirt the law for as long as possible?
Her public association with the company seems also to be limited to one conference appearance, in June 2021 in Mexico.
Even from the crypto perspective, nothing the firm did was in compliance with applicable laws. And then of course there are the other issues.
Namely, even if she had no experience in cannabis, how could she NOT have known that a “crowd financing firm” would have had to comply with strict European and German regulations that specifically stipulated, until the beginning of 2022 that such firms could raise no more than 2.5 million euros a year prior to 2022 and 5 million a year afterward, before being required to register with BaFin, the German financial securities regulatory agency.
Worse, she also appeared not to understand that the huge amounts of “cannabis” the company claimed to produce was not only far more than it was possible to sell into the German market, (which only imported just over 20 tonnes of medical cannabis in 2021 ) but further, from investigations so far, not actually producing or buying any cannabis. Aka a classic Ponzi scheme.
Beyond this, there is evidence that Juicy Fields investors paid for their virtual plants as a way to hedge the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Worse, there is also evidence that the company was planning on issuing its own cryptocurrency called $GROW tokens which also appeared to claim that they were backed by the “assets” of the company.
According to Olofsson, there was twice as much invested via cryptocurrencies than wire transfers.
As a result, Greco is clearly in the hot seat as Olofsson begins to look beyond Sweden for his next legal targets.
Editor’s Note: So far Ms. Greco has not responded to requests for an interview or answered the questions emailed to her last week.
Additional Note. On 19th December 2022, the Charlottenburg District Court opened insolvency proceedings against Juicy Grow GmbH. So far, the public prosecutor’s office in Berlin has received over 2,000 criminal complaints in this matter and the investigation is likely to continue for months. Today (January 30th) is the last day creditors can register claims in writing with the insolvency administrator. After today, they may still do so, but it is not longer free. For a small fee, creditors can still register. The date for the resolution of creditors’ meeting is March 10.