In United States v. Ravenell, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the conviction of a prominent defense attorney for conspiracy to commit a series of money laundering offenses involving his client’s money. I have written an article that explores the basis for that decision, the facts of similar cases that have resulted in the convictions of defense attorneys for money laundering, and the risks that defense attorneys face in dealing with the proceeds of a client’s criminal activity. It concludes that the acceptance of a fee paid with criminal proceeds is unlikely to result in a criminal prosecution (though there is some doubt in that regard), but that other actions taken on behalf of the client could well involve the attorney in criminal conduct.
The article has been accepted for publication in 60 Crim. L. Bull., Issue No. 2 (2024). The following is a link to the manuscript submitted for publication: United States v. Ravenell: How a Defense Attorney Crossed the Line Between Representation and Assisting His Client in Laundering His Money.