Brockton Attorney Indicted for Obstruction of Justice and Money Laundering
Boston, MA...A Brockton attorney was indicted today by a federal Grand Jury on charges of Obstruction of Justice and Money Laundering.
June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Rebecca A. Sparkman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; Kenneth W. Kaiser, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England; and Colonel Thomas G. Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced today that LAWRENCE NOVAK, age 54, of 235 Candy Lane, Brockton, Massachusetts was charged in an Indictment with one count of Endeavoring to Obstruct Justice and two counts of Money Laundering.
"The integrity of our system of justice requires lawyers to obey our laws, be faithful to our oaths of office and our ethical standards," stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan. "Allegations of an attorney offering to file false and misleading documents in our courts and efforts to hide and launder illegal drug money undermines our criminal justice system."
Added Sullivan, "I would like to commend the IRS, FBI, DEA, Massachusetts State Police and the prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for their cooperative efforts in successfully investigating this case."
According to the Indictment and other documents filed with the Court, NOVAK, an attorney, filed false and misleading documents in Massachusetts State Court in an effort to invalidate a client's prior state convictions. At the time the client had drug charges pending against him in federal court. According to the Indictment, invalidating the client's prior state convictions would result in the client receiving a shorter sentence if convicted of the drug charges in federal court.
The Indictment also alleges that NOVAK attempted to launder $107,000 in cash that he believed his client obtained from selling drugs. It is alleged that NOVAK deposited the money into a client trust account and then caused checks to be written to third-parties in an effort to conceal the source of the money. The United States is seeking the forfeiture of the $107,000 in illegal proceeds.
“Money laundering constitutes a serious threat to our communities. Today’s Indictment should send a clear message to anyone, especially professionals in a position of public trust, that they will be held accountable for their actions,” stated IRS Special Agent in Charge Rebecca A. Sparkman.
“This indictment demonstrates our commitment to follow an investigation no matter where it takes us. Whether the defendant is a member of the Bar or a member of a street gang we will always fully investigate and pursue targets to the fullest extent of the law,” stated DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Carol L. Cooper.
NOVAK was arrested on a Criminal Complaint on September 13, 2005, in connection with these charges and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond following an appearance in court. If convicted, NOVAK faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each of the two Money Laundering charges. He faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on the Endeavoring to Obstruct Justice charge.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Massachusetts State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian T. Kelly and George W. Vien in Sullivan’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit and Jennifer Zacks in Sullivan’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.