FRESNO, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield man who goes by the alias “Magic Mike” was sentenced Monday to two years and nine months in prison for a scheme where he made $700,000 in cash withdrawals from bank accounts linked to internet businesses selling synthetic marijuana.
Majed Bashir Akroush, 52, pleaded guilty earlier this year to structuring cash withdrawals to amounts just under $10,000 over a three-year period to avoid currency transaction report filing requirements, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of California.
According to court documents, Akroush operated several internet businesses: Magic Man’s Wholesale, Blue Whale Wholesale, World of Incense and Blue Bear. Each distributed synthetic marijuana to convenience stores, smoke shops and other customers throughout the country, the DOJ said in a news release.
“Although marketed as a legal alternative to marijuana, the products contained illegal drugs that have much more harmful effects than marijuana,” the release says. “Akroush structured the proceeds derived from synthetic drug sales as a means of concealing the illegal nature of his businesses.”
In addition to the prison term, the court fined Akroush $7,500 and ordered the forfeiture of the following assets he owned: real property in Bakersfield; $109,555 seized from five different bank accounts; $199,181 in cash seized from a safe in his residence; $233,460 in cash seized from two safe deposit boxes; and a 1962 Chevrolet Impala worth $200,000.