2 Ohio men charged with fraud for fake medical marijuana business

Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell announced Tuesday, that two Ohio men have been indicted on fraud charges surrounding a fake medical marijuana operation. Fornshell said Aaron Pitman, 34, of Morrow, and Ryan R. Goldschmidt, 39, of Cincinnati, have been indicted on the following counts: four counts of aggravated theft, three counts of unauthorized use of property, three counts of telecommunications fraud, two counts of grand theft, three counts of unlawful securities practices, and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The men are accused of making misrepresentations to multiple victims to induce them to invest in a medical marijuana grow operation that Pitman and Goldschmidt claimed to be operating in California, as well as a CBD oil cartridge manufacturing business. The charges came as a result of a lengthy investigation by the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Forensic Accounting Division. According to court documents, Pitman and Goldschmidt are alleged to have defrauded investors through multiple business entities including Oak Street Group, GGB Assets, and Excelsior Leasing. Neither Pitman nor Goldschmidt are licensed to sell securities to investors in the state of Ohio or anywhere else, Fornshell said. Documents showed the two men misrepresented to investors that Goldschmidt was an attorney, and that they would get 100% of their money back, plus additional distributions of profit. “Investors need to ask lots of questions and do extra research before investing any money,” said Ohio Securities Commissioner Andrea Seidt. “Investors … Read More

Michigan Avenue getting 2 more cultural pop-ups

The temporary shops occupy the ground floor of the Wrigley Building just north of the Chicago River, with plans to close at the end of the holiday season, according to World Business Chicago, a public-private economic development organization.

North Michigan Avenue, the city’s most important shopping district, needs whatever help it can get these days after a wave of store closings that accelerated during the pandemic. After the departures of Macy’s, Gap, Uniqlo, Timberland and other retailers, the Mag Mile’s vacancy rate is pushing 30%. In another sign of the boulevard’s struggles, the owner of the Water Tower Place mall at its north end relinquished the property to its lender earlier this year.

But World Business Chicago was so encouraged by its experiment with Colores Mexicanos that it decided to expand what it calls its “cultural showcase program.” The Mexican shop, at 605 N. Michigan Ave., opened as a pop-up last year but performed well enough that it’s still open after extending its lease. In addition to selling handmade clothing and other goods, the store hosts events like mezcal tastings, art exhibitions and soccer viewing parties.

“The mission for each showcase is to transform a vacant downtown storefront and promote small, local businesses—offering visitors and patrons enriching, immersive cultural experiences and great gift shopping,” World Business Chicago said in a statement.

Before opening Colores Mexicanos, co-founders Erika and Leticia Espinosa, two sisters who immigrated to the US from Mexico in the early 2000s, sold Mexican crafts at Chicago festivals and

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