Boston - A Boston attorney was sentenced today on seven counts connected to a money laundering conspiracy.
Robert A. George, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 42 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised released, $12,500 fine, and forfeiture of $39,500 and a vehicle. The Court ordered George to self-report to the Bureau of Prisons on Jan. 15, 2012. On Jun. 8, 2012, George 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.
“As an attorney, Mr. George was well aware of the crimes he was committing and the legal consequences of his actions,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “I agree with Judge Groton’s comments today that lawyers need to set a high example. I believe that this sentence sends a loud and clear message that will, hopefully, deter criminal conduct.”
“With the sentencing today of former criminal defense attorney Robert George, a message has been sent. If you break the law regardless of your profession, you will face the consequences,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Boston Field Division, John J. Arvanitis. “Investigators pursued all leads that developed, following the information regardless of where it took them - in this case, to a corrupt attorney. This case could not have been conducted without the hard work and the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations New England, Quincy Police Department and the Billerica Police Department.”
U.S. Attorney Ortiz, SAC John J. Arvanitis, and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Ortiz’s Strike Force Unit.