MIL-OSI Security: Former Chair of Grafton Select Board Arrested for Allegedly Defrauding Investors in His Cannabis Company

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Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime Alerts (b)

BOSTON – A former chair of the Select Board in Grafton, Mass. was arrested today on charges of defrauding investors in his cannabis company and for conducting an unlawful monetary transaction.

Bruce W. Spinney, III, 49, of Grafton, was indicted yesterday on three counts of wire fraud related to a scheme to defraud investors in Spinney’s marijuana company as well as one count of conducting an unlawful monetary transaction. Spinney was arrested today and, following an initial appearance in federal court in Worcester, was released on conditions. 

According to the indictment, after resigning as Chair of the Grafton Select Board in August 2019, Spinney solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from several investors for his new marijuana dispensary venture, Noble Manna, Inc. Prior to incorporating Noble Manna in October 2019, Spinney operated Spinney Enterprises, a rental equipment and rental linen business that accumulated large amounts of debt.

The indictment alleges that Spinney told Noble Manna investors that he would be using the money toward the construction and licensing of marijuana dispensaries in Graton and Mendon, Mass. However, it is alleged that contrary to his representations about his use of the investment money, Spinney immediately used investors’ money to pay-down previously existing debts for his linen and rental business including payments to debt collectors, outstanding business loans, cash withdrawals and personal expenses.

It is further alleged that in March 2020, Spinney used the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme to transfer $27,000 to pay a debt related to his rental business in an unlawful monetary transaction. 

Each of the wire fraud charges provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of unlawful monetary transaction provides for a sentence up to 10 years in prison, two years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the amount involved in the transaction. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Massachusetts Inspector General Jeffrey S. Shapiro made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil J. Gallagher Jr. of the Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

MIL Security OSI