Felony protection lawyer convicted for conspiracy to launder drug money loses federal attraction
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A federal appeals courtroom has upheld the conviction of a felony protection lawyer accused of utilizing his place as a regulation agency companion to assist two purchasers launder drug cash.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals at Richmond, Virginia, upheld the conviction of suspended Baltimore lawyer Kenneth Wendell Ravenell in an April 25 opinion.
Ravenell was convicted of conspiracy to commit cash laundering in December 2021 however was acquitted on different costs. He was a companion at Murphy, Falcon, Murphy, Ravenell & Koch.
Prosecutors introduced proof that Ravenell suggested one drug shopper the right way to launder drug proceeds by companies and actual property investments and the right way to combine drug income with money raised by the enterprise ventures. One enterprise created by the drug shopper was LOC Advertising, which placed on concert events and charged a money payment on the door.
Ravenell was additionally accused of placing $1.8 million within the shopper’s drug funds or commingled drug funds into agency financial institution accounts earlier than directing that a lot of the cash be distributed to tasks and third events to profit the drug shopper. Ravenell allegedly saved round $600,000 in deposits for authorized charges whereas additionally accepting money funds.
Ravenell was additionally accused of utilizing drug cash for his authorized charges that he obtained from an affiliate of the second shopper.
Ravenell had argued that he wasn’t conscious of the supply of the funds. On attraction, he stated his conviction needs to be reversed due to defective jury directions and since there isn’t a approach to know whether or not he was convicted on a legally legitimate principle.
The 4th Circuit dominated towards Ravenell on all 4 factors in its 2-1 opinion.
“Our authorized system solely works,” the 4th Circuit stated, “if society maintains its religion within the integrity and independence of those that champion the accused. If counsel is deemed complicit in felony schemes and conspiracies, belief within the adversary course of will diminish, and an important safeguard of these sacred rights etched in our Structure will likely be misplaced. This unhappy case of an legal professional utilizing his particular data of our legal guidelines to felony benefit is an remoted incidence, so fortuitously distant from the requirements held excessive by those that undertake the general public service of felony protection.”