The German cannabis industry is still not past the Juicy Fields case – but it does not have to be this way
There is continued fallout across the European if not German cannabis industry as Lars Olofsson and team continue in their legal battles on behalf of the scammed Juicy Fields investors. Namely, people are still coming forward with information about who knew what, and when.
For those who do not understand the strategy, it is as follows:
- The identities of the core team of scammers are being revealed to the police as we make them public to a broader audience. Whether they are in Russia or not does not matter. Most of them appear to be out of the country and given the international nature of the fraud, Interpol hopefully will begin to move to locate them on the planet. There is unambiguous evidence, including of the photographic and documentary kind, linking the core team to previous scams, and like the Juicy Fields mess are still running even if in vastly reduced capacity.
- Olofsson is more interested in those who facilitated the Juicy Fields swindle than the perpetrators of it directly. Namely, people and firms who knew, or should have known that they participated in a fraud. Or worked for the company only to find, to their horror, the extent of the deception after it all broke publicly. Being a “facilitator” does not mean you were paid by the firm, necessarily, but if you were, this puts you directly in the legal line of fire. Even if you did not “know” until after the exit scam in July 2022.
Unlike the sensationalist media coverage so far (see both Deutsche Welle produced Cannabis Cowboys, which contained factual errors, and even more unforgivably, in a separate article which Olofsson managed to immediately redact, revealed identifying details about a deep throat whistle-blower) and the just released ZDF documentary, this was NOT just a “Russian scam.”
The main characters behind the company itself certainly all have Russian connections. However, from the time the fraud hit Berlin in late 2019 and Viktor Bitner signed the initial founding paperwork, there were clearly Germans (and Americans) who knew that this was far from legit but went along anyway. Worse, although not surprisingly, these people further tried to suppress the voices of those (like me) who began calling the fraud out for what it was, even before the final exit scam.
Some of the people and firms who have been named so far as being even remotely associated with Juicy Fields are undoubtedly not responsible for perpetuating the scam. They got sucked in due to the unbelievable momentum the firm was able to generate in a very small amount of time – namely by spreading a huge amount of money around at a time when the industry was desperately looking for post Covid cash.
However, the reason they became victims of the fraud too, including reputational damage, is because all around them, the “Berlin cannabis mafia” was supportive of and promoted the firm and people who worked for it.
Even for these people, this is an embarrassing moment, but not the end of the road, particularly if they deal proactively with the situation.
Here are a few tips for dealing with the fallout of the scam in a proactive way that everyone, from consumers to investors will respect.
- Own it. Publicly. Apologize, but also discuss how Juicy Fields senior management lied, created fake documents and generally a level of chaos and confusion, including internally that often made it hard to figure out what exactly was going on.
- Offer to return any and all compensation that you were paid to the scammed investors.
- Support the litigation efforts to bring the real scammers and facilitators to justice.
- Be transparent, generally.
- Do your own internal due diligence, if any way associated with the firm, and fix any problems that may have been caused by these individuals.
For those who have been wondering about my connection to all of this (if not threatening me with legal action), please take up all complaints with my lawyer, Lars Olofsson. There is a great deal of evidence that has not been made public yet, but after Deutsche Welle disclosed information about the identity of one of the whistle-blowers, the internal strategy of the team has changed.
If you know something, say something. Contact Lars (or myself if you want). We will not disclose the identities of people who contact us.
This industry has many good people working in it.
It’s time to deal with this properly and move forward.
What If You Do Not Come Forward?
In the next two months, Olofsson will be meeting again with the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, who now has broadened the scope of his investigation beyond the core scammers to the facilitators – which is literally unprecedented.
Olofsson is going to hand over all the information he has about how Juicy Fields interacted with people and companies in the cannabis industry including in Germany, Europe beyond that and even the US to the Swedish police. He will also facilitate meetings between whistle-blowers and the police and discuss how he can help the international investigation already launched by the Swedish police through Interpol.
The time is now to come forward or be under police investigation. It is an easy decision.
If you know something, say something. Or else.