PROVO — A Lehi man who organizes concerts and other events and once owned the popular Sammy's Cafe now faces 26 felonies for allegedly getting people to invest in a marijuana farm that prosecutors say never existed.
Samuel Harris Schultz, 37, was charged Thursday in 4th District Court with 13 counts of communications fraud and 13 counts of theft by deception, all second-degree felonies.
According to charging documents, at the time of the alleged crime, Schultz "was in a music band." In 2012 he co-founded Seventy3 Events, and according to a 2014 article in the Daily Herald, he has worked with promoting artists such as David Archuleta, Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees.
In July 2017, Schultz met a man "who acted as an agent, securing performances for the band. While doing a performance in the Marshall Islands, (he) told Schultz that if he invested $50,000 in a marijuana farm, (the agent) would get him a return of $285,000 in six weeks," according to charging documents.
Schultz made the payment as well as two additional investments of $30,000 "for a promised return of $637,000 in three weeks" and a "return of a $2 million dollars in three weeks," the charges state.
But between December 2017 and May of 2018, the agent "insisted Schultz pay additional money to protect his investment," according to charging documents,
"To make these payments, Sam approached family and friends and told them they could invest in the marijuana farm and promised them double and triple returns on their investments, said he would personally guarantee their investment, represented that the farm was legal despite having no knowledge of the farm which ultimately proved non-existent, and said that he had previously invested in the farm and been paid back with generous returns as promised," the charges state.
Schultz recruited at least 13 "investors" who gave him a total of $323,000, the charges state.
In the court documents, prosecutors say he never told the investors that the payments were being made to guarantee his initial investment and that he had never received any return on his investment in the farm.
"To date, neither Schultz nor any other investor has seen any money from (the agent)," the charges state.
When reached by the Deseret News, Schultz declined to comment but said he may comment at a later time.
The investigation into the man who allegedly got Schultz to invest in the marijuana farm was still ongoing as of Friday, according to authorities familiar with the case. That man, a Utah County resident, has previously been convicted multiple times of theft by deception.