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A prominent marijuana activist who played an key role in the passage of Oregon’s legalization measure and his wife have been sued by a former business associate who accuses them of fraud.
Travis and Leah Maurer, who live in Portland, were sued Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court by former associate, Randy Quast. Quast is seeking $ 1 million in damages.
Mauer has also been sued by Christopher Young and Jeffrey White, his former partners in The Weed Blog, an Oregon-based cannabis news and information blog.
Maurer, in a text message Friday to The Oregonian/OregonLive, said he and his wife “certainly don’t agree with the claims and will respond in due course.”
In his suit, Quast accuses the Maurers of breach of contract, defamation, negligence and fraud. The suit alleges that he entered into a business arrangement with the Maurers to grow and sell cannabis commercially.
He said he moved to Portland last year and was befriended by the couple who asked if he would invest in a dispensary and grow business.
He alleges that he gave the Maurers nearly $ 700,000 to build the business and that they used $ 340,274.94 to cover personal expenses and debts. The rest, he alleges, was supposed to go toward the business. The funds were spent on the dispensary but that “the grow operation was never built,” the suit alleges.
He alleges that in all the couple spent $ 500,000 of his money to pay for personal debt. He asked them to repay him, but they declined, saying “they do not have the money as they spent it and have not reasonable means of repayment.”
He also alleges that Travis Maurer told Young and White, his associates in the Weed Blog, that he is a “pedophile” and a “drunk who likes little kids.” Quast said the characterizations are false. He said Maurer made the accusations to “obtain leverage” over Quast.
He said the false accusations caused him the “loss of his reputation, shame, mortification, hurt feelings and emotional distress.”
In the separate suit filed by The Weed Blog suit, his former business associates allege that Maurer used the web site’s finances to cover personal expenses. The suit accuses Maurer, who served as the blog’s chief financial officer, of transferring money from the company’s bank account to his “various personal accounts” to pay “personally incurred debts.”
Young and White accuse Maurer of failing to maintain the business’s registry with the Oregon Secretary of State, failing to file tax returns, failing to respond to potential advertisers “resulting in a significant number of lost sales and damage” to the blog’s reputation.
As a result of Maurer’s actions, the suit alleges, the blog’s “bank accounts have been depleted leaving insufficient funds” to cover its operating costs. White and Young said the company has experienced significant loss of revenue and advertising sales due to Maurer’s actions.
They are seeking at least $ 51,000 in damages.
— Noelle Crombie