Salinas, CA – Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni recently announced that Monica Herrera, former owner of a licensed, Monterey County cannabis company, pled no contest on July 7, 2020 to felony payroll tax fraud and not having workers’ compensation insurance, a misdemeanor.
Between August 2017 and June 2018, Herrera owned and operated Holistic Farms, LLC, pursuant to a California Temporary Cannabis Cultivation License and a Monterey County permit.
The licensing and permits authorized Herrera to run her business in Salinas, California. During the course of a search warrant served on June 26, 2018 in an unrelated investigation, Monterey County District Attorney investigators discovered that Herrera had violated her license and permit conditions by relocating her cannabis processing operations.
During that search, investigators interviewed multiple individuals who verified that they worked for Herrera as cannabis processors and that Herrera paid their wages in cash. Though Herrera had employees, investigators confirmed with public agencies that Herrera had never paid payroll taxes on employee wages to the California Employment Development Department and she did not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Herrera will be sentenced on August 25, 2020. The Court is expected to place Herrera on probation, order her to pay fines of as much as $30,000 and perform 300 hours of community service.
The case was investigated by George Costa, Steve Guidi, Oliver Minnig and Guillermo Mixer, District Attorney Investigators assigned to the Cannabis and Workers’ Compensation Fraud Units.
Source: Monterey County DA’s Office