CV Sciences’ former CEO wants $5 million for tax bill

The founding CEO of California CBD maker CV Sciences wants the company to pay him $5.3 million to settle a federal tax bill he says the company should have withheld years ago.

The lawsuit from Michael Mona Jr. says San Diego-based CV Sciences paid him almost 3 million so-called restricted stock units as part of a 2018 agreement in which he stepped down after settling a dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mona, who co-founded the company in 2012, says CV Sciences was supposed to withhold applicable taxes but didn’t. He is asking a federal judge to award him $5.3 million to settle his bill with the Internal Revenue Service.

When Mona retired from CV Sciences in 2019, the company stock was trading at $4.66 per share, according to Mona’s complaint. Mona sold his stock in 2020 and 2021 for an average of about 50 cents a share, he argues.

Law 360 first reported the dispute. CV Sciences did not immediately file a reply to the lawsuit.

CV Sciences trades on over-the-counter markets under the ticker symbol CVSI.