Owner of pot delivery company pleads guilty to tax charges

BOSTON (AP) — The operator of a marijuana delivery company that failed to pay taxes on its millions of dollars of sales and paid employees in cash pleaded guilty on Tuesday to tax evasion, drug, and money laundering charges, federal prosecutors said.

Deana Martin, 53, of Milton, owned and managed Northern Herb from 2015 until 2018, which operated a website offering marijuana products, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

While Northern Herb purported to provide medical marijuana, it did not require customers to provide proof of a medical marijuana card and often delivered marijuana to unattended locations, like a hallway, where anyone could access it, prosecutors said.

Northern Herb’s revenue exceeded $14 million from May 2016 through July 2018, prosecutors said. But the company did not withhold or pay taxes on its sales revenue, and used much of the cash collected from customers to pay suppliers and about 25 workers. In paying cash wages, Northern Herb did not withhold any payroll or income taxes.

Martin's co-defendant, Tatiana Fridkes, previously pleaded guilty to drug charges and faces sentencing in June. Martin is scheduled to be sentenced in September.