Former pot activist faces federal bank fraud charges

Saulsberry “fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers..."

Mugshot of Nicholas Saulsberry as seen on June 13, 2017. (Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Nicholas Saulsberry as seen on June 13, 2017. (Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

ST. HELENS, Ore. (KOIN) — The former president of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association is accused of a scheme to defraud 13 banks and credit unions.

According to federal court documents, Nicholas J. Saulsberry, 30, is accused of bank and mail fraud for opening bank and credit accounts using the identification of other people.

Nothing in the court documents indicated the accusations have anything to do with his work with the Oregon Cannabis Retailers Association or the Eugene marijuana retail store he was associated with: Meg’s Marijuana.

Casey Houlihan, executive director of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association told KOIN 6 Saulsberry’s association with the group ended when they became aware of the accusations about a year ago.

Federal prosecutors wrote Saulsberry “fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and other personal identifiable information … that belonged to others” from January 2014 to July 2016 while he lived in Oregon and Texas.

According to documents, Saulsberry used debit and credit cards to unlawfully withdraw funds and provided others with “fraudulently-obtained debit cards for use in withdrawing funds from bank accounts.”

Court documents said Saulsberry and “others devised… a material scheme… to defraud First Tech Federal Credit Union, America’s Christian Credit Union, Chartway Federal Credit Union, Connexus Credit Union, Generations Federal Credit Union, NASA Federal Credit Union, Northwest Federal Credit Union, Oregon Community Credit Union, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Stanford Federal Credit Union, State Department Federal Credit Union, and Unitus Credit Union.”

According to public records, Saulsberry was arrested for theft in Texas in 2006.

Saulsberry is booked at the Columbia County Jail, which has a contract to house people accused of federal crimes.