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Lawyers on the wrong side of the law

Money-laundering attorney on suspension and one on probation

According to yesterday's (February 2), Cal Bar Journal, well-known criminal attorney James Joseph (Jimmy) Warner has been placed on interim suspension.

On July 15 of last year, Warner pleaded guilty to laundering $100,000 of a client's drug-trafficking proceeds and then tampering with a potential witness.

Federal drug agents had searched his client's quarters and missed $100,000 in cash. Warner laundered the money through an offshore tax and secrecy haven, taking steps to conceal the transactions involved. He failed to file an Internal Revenue Service report, which is mandated when one receives cash of more than $10,000. Despite all this, he got only three years of probation. As a result of the interim suspension, he cannot practice law.

The bar also put Oscar Arturo Ruiz de Chavez of Chula Vista on probation. He cannot practice law for two years of the probation. He had previously been disciplined by the bar.

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According to yesterday's (February 2), Cal Bar Journal, well-known criminal attorney James Joseph (Jimmy) Warner has been placed on interim suspension.

On July 15 of last year, Warner pleaded guilty to laundering $100,000 of a client's drug-trafficking proceeds and then tampering with a potential witness.

Federal drug agents had searched his client's quarters and missed $100,000 in cash. Warner laundered the money through an offshore tax and secrecy haven, taking steps to conceal the transactions involved. He failed to file an Internal Revenue Service report, which is mandated when one receives cash of more than $10,000. Despite all this, he got only three years of probation. As a result of the interim suspension, he cannot practice law.

The bar also put Oscar Arturo Ruiz de Chavez of Chula Vista on probation. He cannot practice law for two years of the probation. He had previously been disciplined by the bar.

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Comments
8

This sounds like something the fictional lawyer Saul Goodman from AMC's "Breaking Bad" series and upcoming "Better Call Saul" series would have done.

Feb. 4, 2015

ImJustABill: I am not familiar with either of those series, but it sounds like they emphasize dubious activities of lawyers who get a wrist slap from the courts. I have followed several cases in which lawyers and prominent citizens got off the hook for clear-cut crimes. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 5, 2015

Dennis Hull: In my opinion, Warner got off incredibly easy. It appears he knew exactly how to launder money offshore; it certainly seems like he had done it before for his drug dealer clients.Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 5, 2015

Maybe there was judge tampering as well as witness tampering.

I'm also surprised he wasn't permanently disbarred. What possible value is this guys "legal" work to society?

Feb. 5, 2015

ImJustABill: The bar's penalty leaves the door open for further penalties later. This guy showed up at his sentencing and wept openly, claimed he had just made one mistake, wailed that the one mistake had hurt him so much. Sorry, I don't believe it. Warner knew exactly what he was doing because he had done it before, in my opinion. It's another case of a lawyer getting off easy. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 5, 2015

Dennis Hull: Right you are. A non-lawyer would have been dealt with severely. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 5, 2015

Well I must admit, I am confused by the circumstances presented in this article. Why isn't this attorney provided the same privileges, immunities and remedies afforded to other attorneys, like the D.A. Bonnie Du Mantis. Or is everything smoke and oil in all state bar circumstances.

Feb. 8, 2015

SerraMesaBill: Warner got all kinds of privileges he didn't deserve, in my opinion. Admittedly, he didn't get a free pass like the ones handed out all the time to Bonnie Dumanis. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 8, 2015

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