Disgraced Central Coast cannabis businessman Helios Dayspring entered into a settlement with his former partner and a top investor in Natural Healing Center, who'd sued him in civil court for fraud and malfeasance.
The terms of the settlement—finalized on March 18 in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court—are confidential, and it comes as Dayspring awaits a federal sentencing hearing on April 22 for his bribery and tax evasion charges.
His former partner—William Szymczak, a retired U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development director—invested at least $15 million in capital in 2018 to help Dayspring build his cannabis empire, according to court records.
- Screenshot Courtesy Of SLO County
- LITIGATION OVER Former Natural Healing Center CEO Helios Dayspring, who pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion last year, recently settled a civil lawsuit from his top investor.
Szymczak, 82, sued him in 2020, allegedly finding out that Dayspring was an "unscrupulous con man" participating in illegal business practices.
In the suit, Szymczak claimed Dayspring siphoned and misspent company funds for his own benefit, while attempting to stave off criminal investigations and conceal his business failings. Szymczak sought a full accounting of the company, damages, and Dayspring's removal as head of Natural Healing Center.
Filed a year before the Department of Justice announced criminal charges against Dayspring, the lawsuit foreshadowed the eventual plea deal in which Dayspring admitted to bribing late SLO County 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill and underreporting his personal income by more than $5.3 million.
In a statement about the settlement, Miles Feldman, Szymczak's attorney, said that Szymczak "is pleased the matter has been resolved."
Marc Smith, Dayspring's attorney, added: "Rather than continue the time, expense, and uncertainty of litigation, both parties made compromises in order that they move forward in a productive and successful manner."
Neither attorney shared further details with New Times.
Court records indicate that the settlement involved more than 30 business entities and people, including Dayspring, Szymczak, and Natural Healing Center's current owner, Valnette Garcia, who is Dayspring's longtime girlfriend. SLO County Superior Court Judge Tana Coates will oversee enforcement of the settlement. Δ