OAKLAND -- An Oakland businessman whose work in the marijuana industry earned him the moniker "ganjapreneur" has been sentenced to five years probation for pocketing city grant money meant for building improvements.
Dharminder "Dhar" Mann, 29, must also repay the city of Oakland $44,399 by April 1 under the plea deal in which he pleaded no contest to five felony counts of defrauding the city, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. He was sentenced Friday.
Mann owns a real estate company, a luxury car rental firm, and is the CEO of the hydroponics company, weGrow. He was featured on the June 2011 cover of Mother Jones magazine as a "ganjapreneur" in the medical marijuana business. His parents operate Friendly Cab, Oakland's largest taxi service, and like him contribute to local political campaigns.
Authorities say that Mann made phony claims to a Oakland Redevelopment Agency grant program in place to help property owners make needed renovations.
He is being sued by the city of Oakland in civil court for $230,000 in penalties and $135,000 in damages.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.