San Luis Obispo man charged for allegedly bribing county supervisor to obtain favorable votes for cannabis businesses

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A San Luis Obispo man was charged with bribery after he allegedly paid a county supervisor $32,000 in exchange for influence on votes affecting his cannabis businesses, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Helios Raphael Dayspring, who goes by the name “Bobby Dayspring,” was charged in federal court with one count of bribery and one count of subscribing to a false 2018 income tax return that deliberately failed to report millions of dollars in income to the IRS, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

Dayspring agreed in a plea agreement to plead guilty to both felony offenses, pay $3.4 million in restitution to the IRS, and cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation, federal prosecutors said.

According to court documents, Dayspring “owned, operated, and/or had a controlling interest in multiple farms that grew cannabis in San Luis Obispo County.”

Dayspring began bribing a San Luis Obispo County supervisor in the fall of 2016 through November 2019 and in exchange, the supervisor voted on matters affecting Dayspring’s farms, including voting multiple times in favor of legislation that permitted his farms to operate before it had obtained final permitting approvals, the release stated. 

In his plea agreement, Dayspring also admitted that he and his business associate attempted to bribe the former mayor of Grover Beach with $100,000 in exchange for two dispensary licenses in that city during a dinner meeting in September 2017.

In addition, Dayspring admitted that he substantially underreported his personal income on his federal tax returns between 2014 through 2018, which resulted in the IRS losing more than $3.4 million in tax revenue, according to the DOJ.

Dayspring is expected to appear in court on August 25. After pleading guilty, he faces up to 13 years in federal prison.

The FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated this case, which is part of an ongoing public corruption investigation in San Luis Obispo County.        

Anyone with information related to this case or any other public corruption matter in San Luis Obispo County is encouraged to contact the FBI’s email tip line at pctips-losangeles@fbi.gov or to contact the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at 310-477-6565.

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