Remember him? Well, Ament comes into play in 2019 when he begins soliciting money from Rafiei, an associate of Rafiei, and Rafiei’s client, known as “the cannabis client” in Agent Adkins's affidavit. Keep in mind that Rafiei is not working for the FBI at this time. Agent Adkins is investigating Rafiei and has her phone tapped, and this is how Ament gets on the FBI’s radar. Agent Adkins’ investigation revealed that Ament wasn’t working alone. Adkins’ affidavit mentions an unnamed political consultant and describes the consultant as “a principal partner of a nationally known political and public affairs firm." The Los Angeles Times
reported that the unnamed political consultant is speculated to be Jeff Flint, the senior partner, and CEO of Core Strategic Group whose clients include Arte Moreno, the owner of Major League Baseball’s Angels, and the Disneyland Resort. Adkins reports that the political consultant and Ament solicited money with the intent to defraud the cannabis client as well as Rafiei and Rafiei’s associate. On top of all this, Rafiei is recorded by the FBI telling the cannabis client that if they pay $200,000 to $300,000 they can get insider information on the cannabis industry to guarantee success for their cannabis businesses in Anaheim. Ament and the political consultant fooled Rafiei, her associate, and the cannabis client into believing that the money received would go towards helping them with their cannabis business. This, of course, was far from the truth.
Ament and the political consultant received $225,000 from the cannabis client in exchange for influence and access to what Ament and the political consultant coined the “Task Force” in the City of Anaheim. This Task Force was supposed to help make the cannabis business friendlier. The truth was that neither Ament nor the political consultant had any influence over the drafting of any cannabis ordinance and there was no Task Force at all. Rafiei later told the FBI that it was an illusion that Ament and the political consultant had created and later both Ament and the political consultant misrepresented the allocation of those funds to the cannabis client and Rafiei. Instead, Ament and the political consultant embezzled the money out of the chamber of commerce into what Agent Adkins describes as “Firm A”. Firm A is described as being the firm that is under the operation of the political consultant. Ament had the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce pay Firm A for political consulting, supposedly for the non-existent Task Force on cannabis, and then Firm A paid Ament directly through checks and wire transfers. For example, Agent Adkins describes how the cannabis client deposited $85,000 on July 17, 2019, to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce bank account, and one day later on July 18, 2019, the chamber wrote a check to Firm A for $20,000, the memo of the check read “research & consulting on cannabis”. That same day, July 18, Firm A wrote a check to Ament for $16,000, the memo on that check read “TA Consulting”. This is how they funneled the money into Ament’s personal bank account using checks and wire transfers in various amounts that never matched the full amount deposited into Firm A from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce.