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Criminal defense attorney James Warner pleaded guilty today (July 15) to laundering $100,000 of a client's drug-trafficking proceeds and then tampering with a potential witness in the case.

According to the plea agreement, federal drug agents searched the home of a Warner client in 2012. The drug trafficker told Warner the agents missed $100,000 in cash during the search. Warner agreed to conceal the money.

Warner then stashed $99,965 of his own money in an account in the British Virgin Islands, a tax and secrecy haven. Warner then structured the $100,000 from the drug trafficker into his personal bank accounts to disguise the nature of the proceeds. Warner admitted creating a fictitious corporation named Grenadine Development and opened an account in that name to issue checks to the trafficker.

Warner also admitted tampering with a witness when he told his client to pay the legal fees of another trafficker to prevent the other trafficker from cooperating with law enforcement. Warner's client drug trafficker is identified as "T.K."

Bond was set at $5000. At a hearing October 16, Warner will face a statutory maximum sentence of 23 years in federal prison.

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Comments

shirleyberan July 15, 2014 @ 5:50 p.m.

Stupid guy. Could have just billed the dealer-dude for legal services and ate it up.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2014 @ 8:39 p.m.

shirleyberan: But his dealer-client's communications may have been bugged. The bills could have been marked. When the lawyer went to turn the cash in, he could have raised suspicions. There are several reasons why he might have done it the way he did. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh July 15, 2014 @ 6:22 p.m.

A guilty plea from an attorney is most unusual. The US Attorney must have had a very strong case to get such a plea. That is, unless the deal sends him to prison for far less than the "max." Maybe a year in a minimum-security lockup?

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Don Bauder July 15, 2014 @ 8:40 p.m.

Visduh: I think the U.S. Attorney had a very strong case. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan July 15, 2014 @ 8:58 p.m.

Wiped the screen and hit a flag. Don - you have good criminal thinking skills.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2014 @ 7:52 a.m.

shirleyberan: Fifty years of reporting on financial fraud does awaken one to the techniques of the sticky-fingered. But I still get surprised regularly by something I had not thought of. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 15, 2014 @ 9:07 p.m.

Better Call James

("Breaking Bad" reference)

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Don Bauder July 16, 2014 @ 7:54 a.m.

ImJustABill: Jesse James or William James? Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 16, 2014 @ 9:47 p.m.

In the "Breaking Bad" TV series there's a lawyer named Saul who does some of the stuff that James Warner apparently did. His catchphrase is "better call Saul"

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Don Bauder July 17, 2014 @ 9:02 a.m.

ImJustABill: Sorry, I don't watch that kind of thing on TV. (I do watch Bloomberg, CNBC and MSNBC and used to watch Are You Being Served? I'm not a snob.)

Maybe I should have watched "Breaking Bad," had I known about it. That Saul lawyer sounds like several I know. Best, Don Bauder

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