Utah County Musician Faces 26 Felonies In Marijuana Farm Investment Scheme
LEHI, Utah – A Utah County musician who makes a living organizing concerts and once owned the popular Sammy’s Cafe is facing 26 felonies for allegedly getting people to invest in a marijuana farm that prosecutors say never existed.
Prosecutors charged 37-year-old Thursday in a 4th District Court with 13 counts of communications fraud and 13 counts of theft by deception, all second-degree felonies.
However, those who knew him long before the investment scheme say that’s not all he’s done.
Artists often express themselves through their work. In Rilee Nicole’s case, it gave a voice to her frustration, betrayal and anger.
“I wrote a song to express how I felt about the situation,” said Nicole.
The situation she’s referring to is the professional relationship she had with Samuel Shultz. She says she hired him to work as a promoter and manager for her music career.
“He told us we would be paying him monthly,” she said.
Nicole paid him $600 a month for two years before parting ways.
“He would not pay us for shows,” she said. “He would make all sorts of promises and not keep them. He would disappear at times and just a lot of things would go wrong.”
She’s not alone in being out money, but according to charging documents, the Utah County Attorney’s Office says Samuel Schultz made other promises, not of music promotion, but profits from a marijuana grow operation – a pot farm that never even existed.
One “almost victim” approached for money by Shultz contacted KSL asking to remain anonymous.
The individual said, “Sam Schultz contacted me in February of 2018, and asked for $7,000. He said my investment would double and I would get it back in two days. He explained it was for a pot farm run by some kind of Polynesian gang or mafia. It was located in Oregon, and he was obligated to facilitate the investments for it. It sounded ridiculous and I told Sam ‘no.’ At that point, he said I should just give him the money and keep it a secret from my spouse since the investment would double in two days. I once again told him ‘no.’”
However, the pitch didn’t sound ridiculous to everyone. In all, Shultz recruited at least 13 “investors” who collectively gave him $323,000, including one women who asked not to be identified due to the nature of her investment.
She said she gave Shultz $100,000.
Rilee Nicole’s music career didn’t quite take off the way she had hope, but she knows it could have been worse.
“We did get lucky with it not being an incredibly large amount,” she said.
Our newsroom reached out to Mr. Shultz who declined to comment. To date, not one of the people who invested money with Shultz have received any of their money back.
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