Paul Stanford, Hemp and Cannabis Foundation President pleaded Guilty of Tax Evasion
Below is Oregon Attorney General Press Release
Paul Stanford will serve 18 months of probation and 160 hours of community service. Attorney General John Kroger announced the conviction and sentencing of the president of Portland-based The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), who was arrested in March for tax evasion. “Paying taxes is not optional,” said Attorney General Kroger.
Paul Stanford (DOB: 6/26/60) pleaded guilty today in Marion County Circuit Court to one count of Oregon Personal Income Tax Evasion. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 160 hours of community service.
Stanford is the president of THCF, a Portland-based organization founded as a nonprofit in 1999 that has grown dramatically. According to the Foundation’s website, it now has medical clinics in at least ten states and more than 100,000 patients. However, in 2010, the IRS announced that it had revoked THCF’s status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.
Under Oregon and federal law, charitable organizations are required to file periodic financial reports with the Charitable Activities Section of the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. Although THCF registered with the Department upon its inception in 1999, THCF had long periods of delinquency in which it failed to comply with state and federal reporting requirements applicable to charitable organizations.
The Charitable Activities Section referred THCF’s lack of compliance to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS subsequently revoked the organization’s tax exempt status and according to THCF records, the IRS assessed the organization more than $1 million in payroll and other taxes. THCF also has been delinquent in paying taxes to Oregon Department of Revenue.
In the course of investigating THCF’s revocation, the Charitable Activities Section learned that Paul Stanford had failed to pay personal income taxes on compensation he received from THCF. The Section referred the matter to Criminal Justice Division, which handled Stanford’s prosecution on personal income tax charges.
Senior Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Gardiner and Shannon Kmetic prosecuted the case.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.