February 12, 2015
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: (617) 557-2100
Attorney Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For Laundering Drug Money
(NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Michael J. Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Ralph Crozier, 63, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for laundering drug money. He also was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.
On September 25, 2014, a jury found Crozier guilty of one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and one count of attempt to launder monetary instruments. According to the evidence at trial, law enforcement began investigating Crozier, an attorney based in Seymour, after receiving information from a convicted narcotics trafficker who was in federal custody. The narcotics trafficker stated that he was a former client of Crozier and that Crozier had convinced him to invest $30,000 in cash into Crozier’s law partner’s solar energy company. Crozier knew that the cash was derived from his client’s narcotics trafficking activities.
In 2013, the narcotics trafficker’s mother agreed to wear a recording device while meeting with Crozier to discuss her son’s prior investment. On April 11, 2013, the woman brought $11,000 in DEA funds to a meeting with Crozier, representing that her son had hidden the cash and wanted her to bring it to Crozier. The conversation during the meeting made it clear that the money had been illegally derived from drug dealing. Crozier accepted the cash and told the woman that he was going to make out the receipt in her son’s name, stating “I don’t want to put your name on anything because I don’t want you involved with hiding things from the Feds.” Crozier was arrested shortly after the woman left his office.
“Attorney Crozier readily agreed to launder drug money for a narcotics dealer,” stated U.S. Attorney. “Money laundering is always a serious offense, but it is all the more serious when committed by an officer of the court. As attorneys are appropriately held to a higher standard, Crozier’s crimes are particularly troubling. This sentence reflects the seriousness of his offense and proper punishment for a lawyer who used his law license for criminal purposes.”
Crozier, who is released on a $200,000 bond, was ordered to report to prison on April 17, 2015.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.