Saturday, January 12, 2013

Indoor Pot Farmer Gets 32 Months For Role In Running Large-Scale Marijuana Grow House Operation Out Of 26 Upscale Homes Financed By Straw Buyer Scam

In Stockton, California, The Record reports:

  • A man who helped buy homes fraudulently in Stockton for use as indoor marijuana farms was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said.

    Michael Giang, 39, of San Francisco received the sentence [] in federal court in Sacramento for his role in what authorities have called one of the largest, most sophisticated residential indoor marijuana growing operations. The scheme included 26 homes in upscale Stockton neighborhoods that were purchased with 100 percent financing, gutted and used to grow vast quantities of marijuana, authorities said.

    Several large raids occurred in 2006 and 2007 in Stockton, Lathrop, Mountain House, Tracy and other Central Valley cities.

    Court documents alleged Dickson Hung used personal information from several straw buyers to purchase the homes in Stockton.

    Giang's role was preparing and submitting false loan applications and other related loan documents to the financial institutions and mortgage lenders on behalf of the straw buyers, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Those documents contained false representations and omissions regarding the borrower's monthly income, employment and rental histories, assets and even intent to live at the homes, officials said.

    Once the homes were purchased, the growing operations cut into the main electrical lines to bypass the electrical meters. That enabled them to use electricity without being detected or paying for it. Each house stole $4,000 of electricity every month, according to court records. Most of the homes went into foreclosure.

    Giang, a court concluded, was responsible for a loss of more than $7.2 million.
For the story, see Pot house accomplice sentenced.

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