BOSTON, Mass. - A Boston attorney was convicted today by a jury in federal court on seven counts connected to a money laundering conspiracy.
Robert A. George, 56, of Westwood, was convicted of conspiring to launder money and money laundering. From early 2009 to 2011, George and a co-conspirator conspired to conceal the illicit source of more than $225,000 in drug proceeds. George did this by introducing an individual who was cooperating with the government to George’s co-conspirator who converted purported drug money into checks made payable to a fictitious undercover company.
The cooperating witness (CW) represented to George and his co-conspirator, that he had large amounts of cash from drug trafficking. On two separate occasions, the co-conspirator took the cash in exchange for a check that he made payable to the fictitious undercover company. For this service, the CW was charged a substantial fee.
On another occasion, George told the CW that he would pay him a fee for bringing him clients. George then took $25,000 in cash from an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer client and made two separate deposits of that money, in amounts under $10,000 in order to avoid a reporting requirement, into his account at two different branches of his bank. George then gave the CW a fee in the form of a check made payable to a fictitious undercover company, and wrote in the memo line of the check that it was for “office disposal.” In all of these transactions, George helped conceal the fact that the cash was what he understood to be proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.
“Prosecuting money laundering is a priority of the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M Ortiz. “It is important that we investigate and prosecute those who use the financial system to conceal illegally obtained funds. We will pursue these cases wherever they lead us, even if it leads to attorneys, who are not above the law.”
“DEA has always pursued investigations wherever they lead. In this case our investigation led to a corrupt defense attorney. Attorney George traded away his integrity and his standing in the legal system and community for a simple reason, his own greed,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA, Kevin Lane.
On each of the money laundering charges George faces up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz, Acting SAC Lane, of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Boston Field Division and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation - Boston Field Office made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Ortiz’s Strike Force Unit.