Former Grafton Select Board chair arrested on fraud charges

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Former Grafton Select Board chair arrested on fraud charges
Bruce W. Spinney III, 49, was charged with defrauding investors in his cannabis company and for conducting an unlawful monetary transaction.

GRAFTON – A former chair of the Select Board was arrested on Friday, June 7, on charges of defrauding investors in his cannabis company and for conducting an unlawful monetary transaction.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bruce W. Spinney III, 49, of Grafton, was indicted on Thursday, June 6, on three counts of wire fraud related to a scheme to defraud investors in Spinney’s marijuana company, as well as one count of conducting an unlawful monetary transaction. 

Spinney was arrested and, following an initial appearance in federal court in Worcester, was released on conditions. 

According to the indictment, after resigning as chair of the Select Board in August 2019, Spinney solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from several investors for his new marijuana dispensary venture, Noble Manna Inc. Before incorporating Noble Manna in October 2019, Spinney operated Spinney Enterprises, a rental equipment and rental linen business that had accumulated large amounts of debt.

The indictment alleged that Spinney told Noble Manna investors that he would be using the money toward the construction and licensing of marijuana dispensaries in Grafton and Mendon. However, Spinney allegedly immediately used investors’ money to pay-down previously existing debts for his linen and rental business, including payments to debt collectors, outstanding business loans, cash withdrawals and personal expenses.

Spinney also allegedly used the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme to transfer $27,000 to pay a debt related to his rental business in March 2020. 

Each of the wire fraud charges carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of unlawful monetary transaction carries a sentence up to 10 years in prison, two years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the amount involved in the transaction. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Following the arrest, Town Administrator Evan Brassard issued the following statement:

“The town of Grafton is aware of the arrest and allegations against former Select Board Chair Bruce Spinney.

“While we do not believe any of these allegations involved the town of Grafton, we will be conducting an internal audit and review of any transactions which may be relevant to these investigations.

“The town has no further information on this matter at this time. We will be following the proceedings as information is made available.”

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