Feds: Seymour Lawyer Laundered Drug Money
by STAFF | Jun 24, 2013 3:34 pm
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Posted to: Seymour
A Seymour lawyer has been indicted in federal court on charges he laundered drug money.
Federal prosecutors say the lawyer, Ralph Crozier, 61, convinced an unnamed client to invest $30,000 in a solar energy company knowing that the cash “was derived from his client’s narcotics trafficking activities.”
According to the indictment, which is posted at the bottom of this article, the scheme took place between October 2010 and September 2011.
Crozier faces one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and one count of attempt to launder monetary instruments.
Each count carries up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
The Valley Indy left a message at Crozier’s office Monday afternoon, as well as with his lawyer.
According to an affidavit filed the day after Crozier’s arrest (posted above), Crozier began representing a man “in relation to various criminal matters in Waterbury, Connecticut” about May 2010.
In September 2011, the affidavit says, Crozier’s client was arrested on narcotics trafficking charges and began cooperating with law enforcement as a witness.
Crozier’s client then told law enforcement officials that he had given Crozier narcotics trafficking proceeds that Crozier agreed to invest on his behalf.
“Specifically, when CW-1 (Cooperating Witness 1) advised Crozier that he had a large quantity of U.S. currency that he earned form selling narcotics, Crozier convinced CW-1 to invest $30,000 in cash in a solar energy company,” the affidavit says.
After the man gave Crozier the cash, the affidavit says, Crozier gave him a note that said the company would pay interest on the cash or the man could convert the IOU into a 10 percent ownership stake in the company.
“The note was signed by Crozier’s law partner,” the affidavit says.
Based on that information, the affidavit says law enforcement officials arranged for a second cooperating witness to meet with Crozier regarding the first cooperating witness’ deposits.
The affidavit says the conversation was recorded, and the two talked about a 10-year prison term the first cooperating witness had been sentenced to.
During the conversation Crozier allegedly said that “Cash was hidden and he told me where some of the places where the cash was hidden.”
The second cooperating witness met with Crozier again the day of his arrest, April 11.
According to the affidavit, during that conversation the person told Crozier that another $11,000 was available to invest, with more payments on the way.
Crozier allegedly told the witness that his client “should have a lot more than that.”
After receiving the $11,000, Crozier allegedly told the witness he would give them a receipt in the name of his client, and that “I don’t want to put your name on anything . . . because I don’t want you involved with hiding things from the Feds.”
Federal prosecutors said Crozier was arrested at his office April 11 after allegedly accepting the $11,000. A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Crozier June 11. His arraignment in the case is scheduled for July 10 at U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.
Crozier is currently free on $200,000 bond. In April he was ordered to surrender his passport to the federal court clerk and restrict his travel within the state, unless approved by federal probation officials.
Crozier has run afoul of the law before.
Court records indicate he spent two days in jail in connection with a December 2009 arrest for driving under the influence in Southbury.
He was also sentenced to serve 179 days in jail after pleading to two counts of violating probation, second-degree making a false statement, interfering with an emergency call, and violating conditions of release in connection with incidents in March 2005.
He has also been suspended from practicing law several times, most recently from March to August 2010. He was reinstated subject to weekly random urine tests for drugs and alcohol.
Crozier was also suspended July 1, 2007 for a period of three years, but allowed to apply for reinstatement subject to a number of other conditions.
Crozier was reinstated to the bar Jan. 1, 2008.
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