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‘Head Shop’ Owner Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges

Federal Courthouse
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44 year old Richard Joseph Buswell of Lafayette pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal wire fraud charges in U.S. District Court. Buswell faces up to 20 years in prison, a 1 million dollar fine and restitution. He’s the former owner of a local Curious Goods smoke shop franchise. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote has not set a sentencing date.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley told a news conference Wednesday that Buswell confessed to authorities that he and co-defendant Herbert Fouke created Bowman Investment Group and conducted illegal transactions on the New York Stock Exchange for four years, beginning in 2006. Fouke has entered a not guilty plea. He’s scheduled for trial in February.

“Buswell admitted that he engaged in a scheme in order to defraud his clients by making false representations and promises to them in order to obtain economic benefit for himself.”  - U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley

Buswell pleaded guilty Friday, in a separate case, to conspiracy to distribute synthetic marijuana. They marketed the product as “Mr. Miyagi.” Finley says Buswell admitted he and other conspirators earned 5 million dollars selling the controlled substance. The drug was labeled as potpourri, “Not for human consumption.” Buswell’s trial in this case is set for March 21, next year.

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