US: Former Minnesota political operative accused of defrauding two SD MMJ companies of $1.7M

A former Minnesota political operative who worked for the Democratic National Committee is accused of defrauding two South Dakota medical cannabis companies and their investors of nearly $1.7 million. Dakota Natural Growers, 605 Cannabis, and about two dozen of their investors filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County in December against Will Hailer, eSt Ventures LLC, Badlands Fund GP LLC, and Badlands Ventures LLC. The lawsuit claims that Hailer and the three funds Hailer manages solicited a total of $3.5 million in investments with the "intention of stealing and/or misappropriating most of the money."

"We're disappointed that this money was stolen from us," attorney Jason Tarasek said on behalf of the plaintiffs he's representing. "These are new entrepreneurs excited about a new opportunity to bring medicine to people in South Dakota, and [they] put their trust in someone who wasn't worthy of it."

Hailer, who no longer lives in Minnesota, worked in politics for years and spent time at the Democratic National Committee as a senior adviser. He was a campaign manager for current Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison during some of the Democrat's time in Congress and also worked as part of Ellison's official U.S. House operations in the role of district director, according to a LinkedIn profile.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's husband, Tim Mynett, is mentioned in the lawsuit but is not listed as a defendant in the case. The lawsuit alleges that Hailer and Mynett co-founded eSt Ventures and formed the Badlands Fund GP to control another investment fund, Badlands Ventures.


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