“Better Call Saul” & “Breaking Bad” remind us to look during asset searches for lawyers hiding money. In these fictional cable TV series, criminal defense lawyer Saul Goodman laundered money for meth maker Walter White & his co-conspirator Jesse Pinkman. At Breaking Bad’s Season 3, Episode 11 for example, Saul Goodman recommended washing illicit drug monies by investing them in a laser tag business. As set forth below, we should always look during asset searches for lawyers hiding money.
A) Hiding Assets Via A Sham Corporation
Moreover, Ohio criminal defense lawyer Matthew J. King was the subject of the article “Lawyer who suggested ‘Breaking Bad’ method to launder cash has conviction upheld by appeals court.” Mr. King allegedly offered to hide/launder illicit drug monies through a sham corporation. Mr. King learned how to do this by watching Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman on TV. Mr. King also allegedly offered to wash illicit drug monies by placing them in his attorney escrow account. On October 14, 2014 Mr. King was indicted on three counts of money laundering. On August 30, 2016 Mr. King was convicted and was sentenced to 44 months in prison on each count (to be served concurrently).
B) Some Other Concealment Methods
The case against Maryland criminal defense lawyer Kenneth Wendell Ravenell also reads like a script from Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul. Mr. Ravenell’s September 18, 2019 indictment charged him with a racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Mr. Ravenell’s indictment claimed he helped his drug-trafficking client launder illicit drug monies. The indictment basically alleged Mr. Ravenell could have hidden money or washed it in these ways:
- placing illicit drug monies into law firm bank accounts;
- commingling illicit drug monies with monies in a personal bank account;
- disguising illicit drug monies as client funds then using the monies to pay other lawyers;
- telling drug dealers how to engage in bulk-cash smuggling (& transport illicit drugs);
- investing illicit drug monies in a restaurant in Glen Bernie, Maryland & additional businesses;
- and using law firm mail to distribute money orders drug dealers purchased with illicit monies.
Copyright 2020 Fred L. Abrams