Thursday, October 23, 2008

Escrow Account Used To Launder Criminal Proceeds

The Georgia Supreme Court disbarred a lawyer convicted of three federal felony offenses involving money laundering and conducting transactions over $10,000 in criminally derived property. The convictions arose from his dealings with a former bankruptcy client who was unable to obtain a bank account. The lawyer used his escrow account to assist the client, charging a percentage of the funds deposited as his fee. He had received letters and subpoenas that "put [him] on notice that his client's funds were criminally derived." The deposits were in a total amount over $8 million. Findings that the lawyer "generally does a competent job handling matters for his clients" and had cooperated in the criminal investigation did not outweigh the aggravating factors. (Mike Frisch)

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