Banks including Citigroup and Bank of America were happy to look the other way when customers used their credit and debit cards to buy marijuana online, said lawyers defending two men accused of defrauding banks into processing pot purchases. ‘Marijuana is a big business and it’s big business for everyone…
“Marijuana is a big business and it’s big business for everyone involved, including the banks,” Christopher Tayback, a lawyer for Hamid Akhavan, told jurors in closing arguments following a three-week trial in Manhattan federal court.
In his closing argument, Tayback played for jurors the famous scene from “Casablanca” in which Captain Renault cynically claims to be “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on” in Rick’s cafe, a moment before collecting his own winnings.
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Unfortunately for the defendents the Casablanca defence didn’t suceed – see Law 360
SDNY Jury Convicts 2 Of Tricking Banks On Pot Transactions