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Disbarred Attorney Easton Harris Receives Up to 5 Years in Prison
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Easton Harris

Summary: The Las Vegas attorney who scammed investors into supporting his fake marijuana company was sentenced to two to five years in prison.

The former Las Vegas attorney accused of scamming people over a marijuana business was sentenced to prison Tuesday. Disbarred attorney Easton Harris, 42, will be behind bars between two to five years for getting investors to put thousands of dollars into his fake medical marijuana company, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

  
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Harris had pleaded guilty to theft and conspiracy to commit theft earlier as part of a plea agreement. District Judge Michael Villani followed the terms of the agreement when he set the sentence. Harris was given credit for the time he already served, a total of 196 days towards his sentence. Harris told Judge Villani, “I’m sorry, and I’m willing to take responsibility.”

Deputy Public Defender Bryan Cox urged the judge to not let Harris’ apology influence the sentence by keeping to the terms of the agreement. Cox said, “He can’t undo what’s happened. He voluntarily gave up his license without a hearing. That’s not a slap on the wrist. That’s a sentence there that he’ll have to serve.”

During the sentencing hearing, the victims of his scam had the opportunity to speak. Lisa Ashby was one of those victims. She testified Tuesday that she lost $92,500 to Harris, which caused her to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Ashby claims she had to receive counseling and ended up losing her job as a prenatal nurse because of her mental health problems. She said, “Easton K. Harris, I would like to say that I appreciate the apology, but that doesn’t weigh very heavily in my situation. I have lost pretty much everything that I have.”

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Another victim was Phillip Quayle, who gave Harris money for the fake business. He testified, “The amount of money that Easton Harris stole from me speaks for itself. Also, he was a liar. I’ve lost my retirement.”

Harris was suspended by the State Bar of Nevada in December 2015. He was disbarred the following June after at least 23 clients came forward with 100 professional conduct complaints. It was determined that he would charge his clients fees but fail to do the work or he would collect their money for safekeeping but would then spend it.



Harris worked with Jonathan Peirsol to find investors that did not live in Las Vegas. They contacted three acquaintances, convincing them to invest in Sin City Organics LLC, a fake medical marijuana cultivation center and dispensary. The company did register with the secretary of state’s office in Nevada but never actually existed.

Harris is also required to pay back $92,500 in restitution to Ashby, $75,000 to Quayle and $1,000 in extradition fees. Harris was indicted on the charges last year but disappeared after he was released on his own recognizance. Peirsol was already in federal custody for a separate case when the indictment was made. Clark County District Court records showed he would have to extradited.

Do you think two to five years is a sufficient prison sentence for running the scheme? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about cases where investors got duped, read these articles:

Photo: LVMPD/KSNV



 

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