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Cannabis Co. Founder Claims CEO, Girlfriend Stole $5.7M

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A cannabis beverage maker's founder has hit its CEO, his girlfriend and the company's accountant with a lawsuit in Colorado state court, accusing them of running a yearslong scheme to misappropriate more than $5.7 million from the cash-only business while defrauding the IRS in the process.

In a 53-page complaint, Daniel Griffin, who founded the Denver-based Green Cross Colorado LLC in 2009, accuses its CEO Mark Smith and his girlfriend Sherri Marzario of conspiring with the company's accountant, Richard Ruller, to misappropriate millions of dollars in cash in the quickly growing marijuana business through its related entities, while hiding the conduct from Griffin for years.

"Griffin seeks to divest the people actively involved in misappropriating funds from GCC and its related companies, to have damages awarded for the fraud and misappropriated funds and damages related to tax filing improprieties, directly and derivatively as appropriate, and to claw back misappropriated funds when possible," the complaint says.


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