News and Press Releases

Lawyer Indicted for Laundering Prostitution Monies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2004

Reno, Nev. -  An Oregon attorney has been charged with laundering money for a man who allegedly operated a prostitution business in Las Vegas, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada. CHERYL CHADWICK, age 54, an attorney in Portland, Oregon, is named in a seven-count Superseding Indictment returned by the Federal Grand Jury yesterday. CHADWICK is charged with one count of Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, and one count of Money Laundering, both felony offenses. If convicted, she is facing up to 20 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine on each count.

Two other defendants, JONATHAN DUKE FLAKE, aka Caribbean, aka Corey Robinson, aka Brandon Cashman, age 32, and MEARENET BIADEGELEGNE, aka Katrina Scott, age 23, both of Portland, Oregon, are also named in the Superseding Indictment. FLAKE, BIADEGELEGNE, and a third defendant, BREANNA NELSON, aka Sara Page, were originally indicted on March 5, 2003. FLAKE was charged with Transportation of Females for Prostitution, Transportation of Minors for Prostitution, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, and Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering. NELSON and BIADEGELEGNE were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. FLAKE and BIADEGELEGNE were re-charged with the same offenses in the Superseding Indictment returned yesterday, and an additional count was added against BIADEGELEGNE for Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering. They are in custody and scheduled for trial before U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt on August 9, 2004. NELSON pleaded guilty on March 31, 2004, to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.

According to the court records, from approximately May 25, 2001, to September 30, 2002, CHERYL CHADWICK, JONATHAN DUKE FLAKE, and MEARENET BIADEGELEGNE, allegedly conspired to conceal and disguise the source of funds used to pay FLAKE'S personal, business and legal expenses. CHADWICK allegedly maintained a bank account at U.S. Bank in Portland, Oregon, into which FLAKE and prostitutes who worked for him deposited monies they earned from prostitution in Las Vegas. CHADWICK then made withdrawals and wrote checks on the account for Flake's car payments and rent payments.

Specific acts alleged against CHERYL CHADWICK include:

• On approximately January 9, 2002, CHADWICK purchased a 2002 GMC Yukon truck in her name for FLAKE'S use.

• On January 16, February 22, May 17, May 21, May 28, July 8, August 23, August 26, September 4, and September 30, 2002, FLAKE caused cash deposits totaling $27,300 to be made into U.S. Bank Account Number 153650151837.

• On approximately February 4, 2002, CHADWICK wrote a check for the benefit of Flake, in the amount of $600, to Berry Ridge Apartments in Portland, Oregon.

• On May 21, July 1, and September 24, 2002, CHADWICK wrote a check and authorized two electronic payments, respectively, in the approximate amounts of $1,000, payable to GMAC as payment toward the purchase of the 2002 Yukon truck.

• On September 30, 2002, CHADWICK purchased a $10,000 cashier check made payable to an attorney hired to represent FLAKE.

A summons was issued for CHERYL CHADWICK. Defendants CHADWICK, BIADEGELEGNE, and FLAKE are scheduled for an initial appearance and arraignment on the Superseding Indictment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leen on May 28, 2004, at 8:30 a.m.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents with IRS Criminal Investigation and Detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Portland Police Bureau, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Koppe.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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