August 29, 2012
All Bets Are Off
The web page of the Virginia State Bar reports the recent suspension of an attorney as a result of a criminal conviction.
The Washington Post had this story about the criminal case on October 24, 2007:
The former director of the Office of Inspector and Auditor for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was convicted yesterday on federal charges she laundered money for a massive gambling and loan sharking operation in Northern Virginia.
Sharon R. Connelly, 67, faces up to 20 years in prison and a court order to turn over as much as $7.8 million for her role in a betting ring, authorities said yesterday.
Connelly was convicted on conspiracy to commit money laundering charges in federal court in Alexandria for her role in a gambling operation authorities say used extortion and robbery to collect its debts.
Investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, FBI and Fairfax County police, the racketeering case was dubbed “Operation Underdog” and has resulted in 13 other convictions, including ringleader Raj Bansal, 63, who pleaded guilty last month. Prosecutors have identified Bansal as Connelly’s boyfriend.
Profits from the gambling business were rolled into loans with interest rates as high as 300 percent, court records show. In addition to blackjack and casino games, Bansal’s operation ran “no-show job” schemes at businesses across Northern Virginia, authorities said.
According to charging documents, Bansal used Connelly to collect gambling debts by using corporate entities in her name, including a company called Executive Loans, to execute mortgage loans on properties that were owned by people who owed Bansal money.
Connelly, who is an attorney, also tried to foreclose on one property owned by an unidentified person suspected of cooperating in the probe into the Bansal organization, the indictment said.
She is scheduled to be sentenced in January before U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
Another defendant, Donovan A. Moncrieffe, 39, was convicted yesterday in the same case on racketeering and money laundering conspiracy charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison and an order to forfeit $112,349.
Connelly worked at the NRC from 1984 to 1999. In addition to directing the NRC’s investigations and audits office, she also served as “special assistant for internal controls,” said NRC spokeswoman Holly Harrington.
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