San Diego

Driver in Fiery Lamborghini Crash Was Awaiting Sentence on Fraud Charges

Michael Llamas was also a defendant in at least four civil cases involving the medical marijuana business

A controversial medical marijuana businessman who died in the explosive crash of his late model Lamborghini was awaiting sentencing on fraud charges.

The county Medical Examiner confirmed that Michael Llamas died at the wheel of his speeding sports car on North Harbor Drive not far from San Diego International Airport.

Llamas’s 2016 Lamborghini hit a curb, a palm tree, and an ornamental anchor, before bursting into flames just before 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5.

A female passenger was thrown from the car and injured.

Court documents obtained by NBC 7 confirm that Llamas pleaded guilty to wire fraud and another felony, and was due to be sentenced December 5, in federal court in Sacramento.

That case involved the filing of falsified documents and financial misdealings in a real estate sale.

Court records confirm that Llamas was also a defendant in at least four civil cases involving the medical marijuana business.

Llamas’s attorney in the federal fraud case told NBC 7 that Llamas “accomplished a number business successes relating to the hemp industry and medical uses of hemp and oil derived from hemp products.” Attorney Michael Pancer said that while preparing for Llamas’ sentencing hearing, his firm gathered numerous testimonials from persons who believe the products he has distributed were lifesaving and greatly reduced symptoms from many pain-causing and debilitating diseases and injuries.”

Pancer said he had hoped Llamas would get probation, instead of up to six years in federal prison, at his December 5th sentencing. 

His attorneys told NBC 7 that Llamas never appeared depressed or suicidal about his upcoming sentencing, and was looking forward to life and business after serving what they predicted would be probation or a brief prison sentence.

Another lawyer who represented Llamas in the federal case said his client helped patients in need of pain relief around the world, often at his own expense.

"He was one person who was the complete opposite of selfish," said attorney Guadalupe Valencia, who knew Llamas for five years and considered him a friend.

"He always talked about helping other people. That’s a lot of what his life was about. Like any other person involved in a big business, there’s always going to be some types of lawsuits, but he was a really reformed, really good young man," Valencia said.

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