Lawyers’ laundering scheme fails


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A Kansas defense lawyer and a law-school graduate have been sentenced to federal prison for their role in a money-laundering enterprise in the state. Attorney Ronald E. Partee and law-school grad Mendy Read-Forbes conspired to launder drug profits in what was actually a sting operation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and other cooperating agencies.

Read-Forbes and Partee offered to use one of their businesses as a front company for the drug proceeds. According to Fox4 News of Kansas City, Read-Forbes offered to run the drug money through her business bank account along with legitimate cash proceeds and then return the funds to the drug dealer by way of checks, money orders, and wires.

Read-Forbes also provided the dealer with paperwork noting “Purchase and Sale of Business Agreement” in order to make it appear as though the dealer was buying into part of one of front companies. Read-Forbes also allegedly attempted to make the transactions less suspicious by providing inauthentic paperwork certifying the drug dealer as a credit counselor specializing in bankruptcy, which would better facilitate laundering through Read-Forbes’ credit-counseling front business.

Over the course of the investigation, Read-Forbes laundered over $200,000 and attempted to invest $40,000 in the purchase of marijuana for resale. Partee received a five-year sentence, and Read-Forbes received a twenty-year sentence. A third defendant awaits sentencing.

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