In USA v. Pursley prosecutors alleged Houston attorney Jack Stephen Pursley helped his client Shaun Philip Mooney repatriate money hidden offshore. On August 5, 2020 Attorney Pursley was sentenced to two years of prison on conspiracy and tax evasion charges.
I. Attorney Pursley’s Alleged $18 Million Transfer To The U.S.
Attorney Pursley was accused of secretly transferring more than $18 million from Mr. Mooney’s Isle of Man bank account. Mr. Mooney reportedly maintained the account in the name of his Southeastern Shipping shell company. To allegedly hide the $18 million from the IRS, Attorney Pursley transferred the $18 million to the U.S. disguised as corporate investments or corporate purchases. Meanwhile, Attorney Pursley apparently deposited the $18 million into bank accounts controlled by Mr. Pursley’s &/or Mr. Mooney’s shell companies. Then, Attorney Pursley reportedly used some of this money to make personal investments and buy personal real estate. Attorney Pursley’s purchases included his vacation home in Vail, Colorado and property in Houston, Texas.
II. Attorney Pursley’s & Mr. Mooney’s Trip To Panama
Person Encounter List records from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s TECS information-sharing system showed Mr. Pursley and Mr. Mooney flew to Panama in 1999. During their trip, Attorney Pursley allegedly assisted Mr. Mooney with setting up Southeastern Shipping. Next, Mr. Mooney is believed to have incorporated Southeastern Shipping in the Isle of Man on or about September 20, 2001. The September 20, 2001 Nominee Declaration available below, suggests Southeastern Shipping’s director, (i.e. nominee director), could have been a strawperson. The Nominee Declaration says this nominee director was Eduard Francesco Venerabile from Niteroi, Brazil.
III. Possible Money Laundering Indicators
If all of the foregoing is true, Attorney Pursley may have engaged in money laundering. The money laundering indicators in USA v. Pursley could be the use of:
- a gatekeeper (i.e. Attorney Pursley);
- multiple jurisdictions such as Panama; the Isle of Man; Niteroi, Brazil; Houston, Texas; & Vail, Colorado;
- offshore bank accounts in Panama & the Isle of Man;
- shell companies;
- a nominee director;
- & the nominee bank accounts maintained in the name of shell companies.