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Owners of ‘The Complex’ in SLC paid for the venue with pot money, feds say

Posted at 10:00 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 08:59:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The owners of a popular Salt Lake City concert venue are facing federal charges for money laundering and drug trafficking.

A 13 count indictment accuses Gabriel Elstein, Angela Elstein and Scott Dale Gordon of using more than $1 million from the illegal sale of marijuana to build The Complex.

Prosecutors claim the trio operated an elaborate scheme from 2007 through 2013, funneling marijuana purchased in California through Salt Lake City to be sold in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Court documents show the defendants made millions of dollars in this operation.

Prosecutors allege the three people used their profits to build The Complex.

Charging documents indicate, “beginning in 2009 and continuing to September 2010, defendants Gordon and Elstein began building a music venue called The Complex. The cost of the construction was at least $1,300,000. Of this amount, approximately $400,000 came from marijuana cash proceeds laundered through the Bonded Productions and The Complex bank accounts. The remaining amount of approximately $900,000 was marijuana cash proceeds paid directly to those companies and individuals related to the construction.”

The defendants are accused of fabricating financial records of The Complex to launder millions of dollars.

The indictment states, “one set of records contained the actual ticket sales and expenses of a music show while the second contained inflated ticket merchandise and concession sales; parking fees; and VIP services and deflated expenses.”

According to a press release from U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber, the three defendants were arraigned and released on Friday. This case is scheduled to go to trial on December 14th.

If convicted, they face 10 years to life in prison and the government could seize The Complex.

Currently, the venue is operating as usual.

Messages left for the attorneys of the defendants have not been returned.