Wednesday, 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.

(Mike Frisch)

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