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Man indicted in third-degree felony theft over state hemp licenses

The suspect reportedly tricked investors out of thousands.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Travis County District Attorney's Office on Friday announced the indictment of Keenan Lopez Williams on a third-degree felony theft, accusing Williams of swindling money out of potential business investors in a bid to buy hemp licenses from the state.

In the affidavit, the DA's office alleged that Williams misrepresented the process to obtain a hemp license and lied about the spending of about $77,500 provided by investors.

According to the Texas Rangers, Williams told investigators all the money given to him was used to pay hemp consultants, growers and breeders for information. After the Texas Rangers inspected Williams's bank account, they found out all the money was actually being used for "personal finances."

RELATED: Top political aide to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller arrested in alleged scheme to take money in exchange for hemp licenses

Officials said Williams also deceived potential investors by claiming he had connections to politicians and elected leaders that could result in a "pay for play" dynamic.

"Keenan Williams informed them that he worked for the Trump Campaign and had relationships with political leaders to get things done," said Brad Weatherford, the Texas Ranger who investigated Williams. "I reviewed Keenan Williams's Facebook public page, which has photos of Keenan Williams and a number of state and federal elected officials, thus giving credibility to Keenan Williams' deception of providing certain services to guarantee a hemp license."

Williams is out on bond after being arrested in February 2021. Williams' case will be prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office's Public Integrity Unit and is pending in the 460th District Court.

“The Travis County District Attorney’s office continues to work with the Texas Rangers to protect the integrity of the political system in Texas,” said Rob Drummond, assistant district attorney and team lead for the Public Integrity Unit. “We will hold accountable those who violate laws and threaten the integrity of our governance.”

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