Since last week's raids on several area marijuana businesses, we've been learning more about the individuals named as targets by authorities. Prominent among them is Laszlo Bagi, owner of Swiss Medical Industries in Boulder and grow facilities in Commerce City. Bagi, whose attorney says he's done nothing wrong, is a master plumber and HVAC professional, and while he's had a few brushes with the law over the years, they've mostly been minor. But he's played a part in numerous civil suits over the years and made the news for a dispensary fire, among other things. Here's the description of Laszlo Bagi and his wife, Wendy, on the website of Bagi Mechanical, whose motto is, "Building Expertise to Building Systems:
Bagi Mechanical, LLC was founded in 1999 by Wendy and Laszlo Bagi, a master plumber and HVAC veteran of thirty years. Bagi Mechanical is a family-owned business, proudly serving the greater Boulder County and Denver metro areas for the past ten years. Our staff of highly trained and licensed professionals bring the expertise to design, manufacture, install and service today's sophisticated building systems. We take pride in our work and we will work diligently to get your project completed on time and within budget.
The Boulder Daily Camera reports that Bagi's record includes arrests on suspicion of drug use and DUI that date back to 1991, more than two decades ago. More recently, in 2011, he was cited for illegal fireworks and fourth-degree arson.
The following year, Bagi was name-checked in a Westword post related to a fire -- this one at Green Door Wellness, a dispensary at 155 Federal that he owned. There was a break-in at the business and a blaze appeared to have been purposefully set on the center's roof; we've found no reports about arrests in the case.
The Bagis have also taken part in litigation of the sort noted in documents found here.
Wendy Bagi wasn't named in federal warrants related to the raids, but like her husband, she's been involved in numerous MMJ operations over the years. For example, she and Laszlo are both mentioned in a December 2012 document from the Northglenn Medical Marijuana Licensing Authority, before which the Bagis requested an ownership transfer of a business, Green Medicals.
As noted in the complete doc below, Bagi stated that he owned nine medical marijuana businesses and eleven grow facilities in Colorado; he also had numerous people testify as to his character. In contrast, Chuck McGinness, who owned Green Medicals with his wife, Patsin, spoke against the transfer of ownership application. He maintained that Patsin "was forced out of the business by Laszlo and Wendy Bagi before a transfer was approved." In addition, Chuck "presented documentation regarding the debts and purchase of the business, and stated Laszlo Bagi entered into the purchase agreement with the intent to cheat those who were owed money from the business."
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In the end, the Northglenn officials rejected the transfer -- but Bagi had plenty of other irons in the MMJ fire when the feds came knocking and put his business at risk. His attorney, James "Skip" Wollrab, told the Camera that $1 million worth of plants were seized by agents, who offered no explanation for their actions. Wollrab feared the losses would bankrupt Bagi, who he said had scrupulously followed all regulations regarding operation of the businesses.
Here's the aforementioned Northglenn document.
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More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: DEA pot raids tied to Florida jewel theft kingpin known as Tony Montana?"