On March 20th, 2021, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried received a summons detailing a complaint against her fiancee, Robert Bergmann, related to Iconoclast Ventures LLC, a cannabis company founded by Bergmann and Fried’s father, Ronald Fried.
The complaint was filed in the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County and the allegations include breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
Tallahassee Reports recently published an exclusive investigation into the connections related to Iconoclast Ventures and other companies created by Bergmann. Tallahassee Reports found that several of the people involved with the businesses have connections to Nikki Fried, including Fried’s father. One of the companies was registered at Fried’s personal residence.
According to state records, one day after Tallahassee Reports published the investigative report, Bergmann filed paperwork to remove Zachary Kobrin as a Director of Iconoclast Inc. effective March 4, 2021.
Kobrin previously told TR he was Bergmann’s lawyer and he is listed as a team member of the Akerman Cannabis Practice that boasts the practice is ranked nationally as one of the top firms in Cannabis Law by Chambers USA.
On June 10, 2019 Fried appointed Kobrin to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee that Fried created to “collaborate with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help improve the state’s medical marijuana policies.”
The compliant alleges breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and tortious interference with a business relationship.
North Public Relations is seeking $30,000 in damages.
The defendants include Iconoclast Ventures, Bergmann, Ronald Fried, and Hali Utstein. All three have previously been identified as founders of Iconoclast Ventures.
The complaint alleges that North Public Relations signed a one-year agreement in November 2019 to provide public relations services for $12,500 a month.
The complaint alleges that Iconoclast Ventures ceased making payments after March 2020, but repeatedly promised to pay in the future. During this time North Public Relations continued to provide services.
According to the complaint, the agreement was executed by Hali Utstein on behalf of Iconoclast Ventures.
Hali Utstein, the wife of David Silvers – a member of the Florida House of Representatives from South Florida, is listed as responsible for managing the Iconoclast Ventures brand, facilitating investor relationships and collaborating with partners to drive revenue.
Utstein is also identified as a key investor across multiple industries, including CB Collective and One Hemp Brands and serves on the board of directors of One Hemp.
The agreement states that services provide by North Public Relations included “counsel on strategic communications initiatives as identified and approved by the Client and to support leadership and designated stakeholders in developing targeted, strategic, and effective communications services to better promote the Client’s businesses and programs as well as create various opportunities to engage partners and other stakeholders in ongoing strategic communications initiatives.”
North Public Relations is seeking a jury trial.