Florida’s GOP Chairman requested Friday the state’s House and Senate investigate Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried’s amended financial disclosure form revealing $351,480 in a probable conflict of interest.
State Senator and Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida Joe Gruters (R) demanded the following:
Based on the apparent discrepancies between Fried’s multiple amendments to her Financial Disclosure Forms and the lobbying compensation reports she filed with the Legislature, I request your Committee to use all available resources and powers to immediately review and audit Igniting Florida, LLC’s accounts, bills, receipts, computer records, books, papers, and other documents and records necessary to substitute the compensation reports to the Florida Legislature and certified as true and complete by Fried.
The hits keep coming vs. @NikkiFried.
— Peter Schorsch (@PeterSchorschFL) June 4, 2021
Fried amended the disclosure from on May 28, 2021, just before announcing her campaign against Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) in the Democrat primary, to adjust her gross income by the $351,480 she received in 2018 from Igniting Florida, a medical marijuana company.
The attempt to disguise the money trail raises the question if she claimed the $351,480 in income on her tax returns. If she did, it means the disclosure wasn’t an oversight and presumably lied on her financial disclosure form. But if she did not claim the money, Fried may have some tax problems to explain to the IRS.
Gruters’ mention of Igniting Florida references a probable conflict of interest with the medical marijuana industry in which she received campaign contributions while regulating the industry, as Breitbart News reported Thursday.
Records depict Fried’s fiancé is in business with Ronald Fried, Nikki Fried’s father, and Hali Utstein, the wife of David Silvers – a Florida state representative — forming a cannabis-related business venture.
Fried also heralded in a 2019 commission of agriculture press release that the oversight committee was to “collaborate with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help improve the state’s medical marijuana policies.”
“I’m proud to establish the medical marijuana advisory committee to help expand patient access, and to advance and modernize policies to move Florida into the future of medical marijuana,” said Fried.
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