Marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring pleads guilty, sentencing hearing set

October 23, 2021


Marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring pleaded guilty to one count of bribery and one count of filing a false tax return on Friday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Dayspring appeared via Zoom.

Dayspring faces a statutory maximum penalty of 13 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11.

Dayspring admitted to paying thousands of dollars in bribes to then-San Luis Obispo Supervisor Adam Hill for favorable votes on his cannabis business interests and for deliberately failing to report millions of dollars in income to the IRS. Dayspring agreed to plead guilty to both felony offenses, pay $3.4 million in restitution to the IRS, and cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation, as part of a plea agreement.

Former-supervisor Adam Hill

Dayspring was the majority owner of three approved retail pot shops and multiple large marijuana grows in San Luis Obispo County, as well as many cannabis businesses in other counties in California. During the past year, he has transferred interest in some of his businesses to his girlfriend Valnette Garcia.

To further his interests in the farms that grew cannabis in San Luis Obispo County, Dayspring began paying bribes to Hill in the fall of 2016 and continued doing so through Nov. 2019.

Dayspring paid Hill multiple bribes in cash and money orders totaling $32,000, according to the Justice Department. In exchange, Hill voted on matters affecting Dayspring’s farms, including voting multiple times in favor of ordinances that permitted Dayspring’s farms to operate before he had obtained final permitting approvals.

The FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated this matter, which is part of an ongoing public corruption investigation focused on San Luis Obispo County.

In 2016, CalCoastNews first reported allegations Hill was asking marijuana business owners to pay bribes in return for favorable votes. For years, CalCoastNews exclusively reported about Dayspring’s alleged bribery, tax evasion, illegal cannabis sales and property fraud.

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I bet he gets probation and the “investigation’ is over.