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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Feds Return Money to Dispensary Owner

Sean McAllister
When Colorado medical marijuana dispensary owner Robert Pooler was pulled over by police last June, he wasn't intoxicated and officers found no drugs in the car. But when Pooler wasn't able to find his insurance card, the police officer said that he was going to search the car to try and find the card.

What he found instead was Pooler's daily deposit from his dispensary. $14,000 in cash.

After Pooler told the officer where the money came from and what he was doing with it, the cop told him that was money laundering and seized the cash. State police investigated further and ended up also seizing two bank accounts with an estimated $5,000.

So what happened next?

"The feds spent six months picking their ass deciding what to do," Pooler's lawyer Sean McAllister said, "and then in December of January, they sent a letter that said, 'We don't think we'll proceed with this.' Then we got correspondence in March or April that said they weren't filing charges and they were returning the money, and they did. So we followed up with the state police and said, 'What about the bank accounts?' And just last Friday, they took the hold off the accounts."

Pooler himself says he's happy to have his money back and probably won't sue over the matter even though it took 10 months to resolve.

Meanwhile, he argues, "the feds returning the money goes against the idea that they're going after cultivators - because if they are, why did they give it back?"

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