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US (FL): Husband of cannabis company CEO convicted of bribery

John "J.T." Burnette, husband of Trulieve Cannabis CEO Kim Rivers, has been sentenced to three years in jail and a $1.25 million fine.

Burnette, 44, a wealthy entrepreneur, developer and hotelier, was convicted in August after a trial on public corruption charges for his role in a long-running City Hall bribery ring involving former City Commissioner Scott Maddox and his accomplice and girlfriend Paige Carter-Smith.

Burnette, whose net worth is $112 million, was indicted in 2019 in connection with a long-running FBI investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee. He was accused of giving Maddox a $100,000 bribe in 2014 in exchange for his abstention on a vote involving a McKibbon Hotel Group project that would have competed with Burnette’s hotel interests.

After a month-long trial that started in July and saw delays after jurors came down with COVID-19, Burnette was convicted on five of nine counts against him, including extortion and mail fraud that involved two of the $10,000 checks. Jurors acquitted him on a racketeering charge that involved the hotel allegations and mail fraud charges involving the other two $10,000 checks.

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