​For release on February 4, 2016

Edward Liang, Deputy District Attorney
Narcotics Unit
(408) 808-3724   SAN JOSE POT SHOP OWNER/MANAGERS INDICTED ON DRUG, TAX FRAUD, INSURANCE FRAND & MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES   The owner and two officials of a scofflaw San Jose marijuana dispensary were indicted by a criminal grand jury this week on felony charges including illegal sales of marijuana, tax fraud, insurance fraud, worker’s compensation fraud, and money laundering.   The officials of San Jose Organics failed to pay over $2 million in taxes to the state and city. This, despite the fact that investigators found a paper trail showing the dispensary made approximately $10 million dollars in profit between April 2013 and July 2015. Also recovered from the San Francisco home of the owner Ben Kit Lew was $800,000 in cash. Another $400,000 was uncovered from other locations associated to the investigation.    Lew, 44, faces up to 46 years in prison on 46 felonies and one misdemeanor, if found guilty. Brian Wong, the 43-year-old manager, faces up to 23 years on 15 felonies and one misdemeanor. Ernest Ma, 28, the Secretary of the Corporation, faces a maximum of about 10 years on six felonies. The defendants will be arraigned on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 27 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.   “People like these defendants are profiteers exploiting the medical marijuana laws,” prosecutor Edward Liang said. “They do this, while at the same time ignoring laws that every other business in California is required to follow. We would not accept this conduct in any other industry. We will continue to hold medical marijuana dispensaries to the same standards.”   The dispensary was raided in July and the defendants were arrested. Evidence showed that the dispensary was bringing in $25,000 a day in sales.   # # #

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