News and Press Releases

Oregon Lawyer and Pimp Plead Guilty to Money Laundering

May 20, 2005

Las Vegas, Nev. - A Portland, Oregon man and his lawyer pleaded guilty today to laundering the proceeds of an interstate prostitution business, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

JONATHAN DUKE FLAKE, aka Caribbean, aka Corey Robinson, aka Brandon Cashman, age 33, and CHERYL CHADWICK, age 55, both of Portland, Oregon, both pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Roger L Hunt to one count of Money Laundering. FLAKE and two female prostitutes, Mearenet Biadegelegne, age 24, and Breanna Nelson, age 21, were originally indicted on March 5, 2003, and charged with a conspiracy to commit various prostitution and money laundering offenses. The Indictment was amended on May 19, 2004, to include conspiracy and money laundering charges against CHADWICK.

According to the facts set forth in FLAKE'S plea memorandum, FLAKE ran an interstate prostitution business that recruited young women in Portland, Oregon, and sent them to work as prostitutes in Las Vegas, Nevada. Using physical force, fraud, and coercion, FLAKE directed the prostitutes to deposit all monies they earned from prostitution activities into a bank account owned by Oregon attorney CHERYL CHADWICK.

According to the facts set forth in CHADWICK'S plea memorandum, CHADWICK was a duly licensed attorney in Portland, Oregon, doing business as "The Law Offices of Cheryl B. Chadwick, LLC." In about September 2001, FLAKE retained CHADWICK to represent him on identity theft charges brought by the District Attorney's Office in Portland.

Beginning in approximately January 2002, and knowing that FLAKE had also been previously charged with prostitution-related offenses, CHADWICK allowed FLAKE to start using her personal bank account for his benefit. CHADWICK allowed FLAKE and others to make deposits into the account whenever they wished from several locations within the United States. From approximately January through September 2002, cash deposits totaling approximately $27,300 were made at various US Bank branches in Las Vegas into the CHADWICK account. CHADWICK made no effort to identify the source of these funds placed into her account.

CHADWICK also made rent, automobile, and attorney fee payments for FLAKE with the monies that FLAKE or others deposited into the account. In January 2002, CHADWICK accompanied FLAKE to Washington State where she purchased and financed a $50,000 GMC Yukon Denali vehicle for the benefit of FLAKE. On September 30, 2002, CHADWICK used funds from the account to purchase a $10,000 cashier's check, made payable to an Oregon criminal defense attorney for the benefit of FLAKE.

Under federal statutes, FLAKE and CHADWICK face up to 20 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. They are scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Hunt on August 15, 2005, at 9:30 a.m.

Breanna Nelson pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, 2005, before Judge Hunt. Charges against Mearenet Biadegelegne are still pending.

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.

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