News and Press Releases

Law School Graduate Pleads Guilty
To Conspiring to Launder Drug Money

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

April 21, 2014

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - A law school graduate who operated a non-profit business pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to launder drug money, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Mendy Read-Forbes, 39, Platte City, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy. In her plea, she admitted that in March 2012 she began meeting with an agent posing as a drug dealer. Read-Forbes, a law school graduate who was not licensed to practice law, operated Forbes & Newhard Credit Solutions, Inc., a nonprofit corporation registered in Missouri to provide educational and social welfare services.

The agent told Read-Forbes he had assets to conceal from the sale of marijuana. She boasted she could use her legal training and her connections with federal attorneys and law enforcement officers to help him launder the money. She told the agent she would launder his cash by running it through her business. She said a lot of her customers paid in cash. So it would not be suspicious for her to be doing transactions involving cash. The plan also involved her listing the agent as an employee of her business and putting him on her company’s board of directors. As part of the scheme, she created a fictitious company called Maximus Lawn Care LLC.
Over the course of the investigation she laundered a total of more than $200,000 in purported drug funds. She also agreed to invest $40,000 of her money with the agent for the purchase of marijuana.

Sentencing is set for July 22. Both sides have agreed to recommend a sentence of no less than seven years and no more than 15 years.

Co-defendants are:
Ronald E. Partee, 67, Kansas City, Mo., who was sentenced to five years.
Laura Shoop, 47, Platte City, Mo., who is awaiting sentencing.

Grissom commended the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble for their work on the case.

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Stay Connected with Twitter
Project Safe Childhood

Project Safe Childhood

Civil Rights

Civil Rights Initiatives.
Toll Free Number
1-855-321-5549

Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.