A Dallas lawyer pleaded guilty today to conspiring to launder money he believed to be linked to drug trafficking, Interim US Attorney Prerak Shah said.
Rayshun Jackson, the 52-year-old defense lawyer at the head of the Jackson Law Firm, was stopped in April. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money before the Chief Justice of the United States, Barbara MG Lynn.
“As a lawyer, Mr. Jackson took an oath to uphold the rule of law – an oath he completely violated when he conspired with alleged drug traffickers to commit a federal offense,” the Minister said. Acting US Attorney Prerak Shah. “Street traffickers are perhaps the most visible sign of the drug epidemic in our country, but the men and women who launder the profits are no less to blame. Drug trafficking would die if it were not for profit. Mr. Jackson tried to take advantage of the backs of addicts, and we are delighted to bring him to justice.
“Money launderers, like Mr. Jackson, close the circle of drug trafficking by returning unwarranted profits to criminal organizations,” said Eduardo A. Chávez, DEA Dallas special agent. “As a defense attorney, Mr. Jackson ignored his oath to promote respect and confidence in the legal profession. Today’s appeal reflects that no one is beyond the reach of the DEA, especially those who have vowed to uphold the rule of law.
In plea documents, Mr. Jackson admitted to laundering $ 380,000 for an individual he believed to be a drug dealer but was in fact an undercover DEA agent.
He was introduced to the officer on September 3, 2020 by “Person A”, the leader of a large-scale opioid distribution network known to traffic in illegally diverted narcotics. After Person A vouched for the credibility of each individual, Mr. Jackson and the undercover agent discussed how the attorney could “clean up” the agent’s “drug money”.
Mr Jackson informed the agent that he could launder approximately $ 500,000 per month by passing it through non-traceable cash companies (i.e. laundromats, car washes) and front companies. He agreed to use his company’s bank accounts, as well as charitable bank accounts established to provide legal services to needy people, to transfer the money to and from the undercover agent’s bank account.
“Ray is the bomb … He’s a thug, he just got a law degree,” Person A told the undercover officer after the meeting, according to court documents.
Three weeks later, the undercover agent delivered a black backpack filled with $ 100,000 in cash to Mr. Jackson at his office. The lawyer agreed to launder the money in exchange for 5% cash in advance. After depositing the remaining $ 95,000 into his various bank accounts in various amounts on various days, he finally transferred the entire amount to the DEA’s secret bank account.
The following month, the undercover agent handed Mr. Jackson an additional $ 300,000 in cash at his office. Again, the lawyer agreed to an upfront 5% fee in return for the money laundering. After depositing the remaining $ 285,000 into his various bank accounts in various amounts on various days, he finally transferred the same amount into the DEA’s secret bank account.
In advocacy documents, Mr Jackson admitted that he was aware of the illegal purpose of the deal and joined it voluntarily.
According to his plea agreement, he now faces five years in federal prison and a forfeiture judgment of $ 20,000 (an amount equal to the amount he collected in fees from the undercover agent). According to Texas State Bar’s compulsory discipline policy, he will probably be stripped of his lawyer’s license.
The Dallas regional office of the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with assistance from the IRS – Criminal Investigations and the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Coker, Head of the North Texas District Assistant Criminal Division, is pursuing the case with Deputy U.S. Attorneys Juanita Fielden and Nashonme Johnson.