Feds ask judge to sentence Ken Ravenell to 8 years in prison as Ravenell lawyers seek probation – Baltimore Sun


Federal prosecutors and an attorney for Baltimore defense attorney Ken Ravenell have filed court documents asking a judge to impose vastly different sentences next week at Ravenell’s sentencing hearing. .

Convicted of money laundering but acquitted of narcotics, conspiracy and racketeering charges, Ravenell’s attorney asks Judge Liam O’Grady to grant his client two years probation. Prosecutors are asking O’Grady to sentence Ravenell to eight years in prison, just two years less than the maximum sentence allowed by law.

“He abused his position as a member of the Maryland Bar to break the law, treating his company’s escrow account like a dirty bank for a coast-to-coast drug distribution organization for years and taking the drug money for it,” prosecutors wrote. in their sentencing note.

Ravenell, 61, went on trial in December and several prominent defense attorneys have criticized the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland for the prosecutors’ handling of the case, accusing them of disrespecting the legal profession.

Peter White, Ravenell’s attorney, asked O’Grady in his memo to consider Ravenell’s “exemplary and law-abiding life” and previous convictions for similar crimes when sentencing. White attached dozens of supporting letters and statements from other prominent attorneys and former Ravenell clients.

“He was always a person of high moral character and honesty,” local defense attorney and former federal prosecutor David B. Irwin wrote of Ravenell.

Ravenell is due to be sentenced on May 13. At the time of Ravenell’s alleged criminal activity, he worked for Murphy, Falcon & Murphy and was accused of laundering money through company bank accounts. Today, Ravenell continues to practice at his own firm, Ravenell Law.

Federal authorities initially charged Ravenell with racketeering, drug conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly helping run a multi-state marijuana operation. The kingpin, Richard Byrd, was sentenced to 26 years in prison and testified against Ravenell, as did other members of his organization.

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Ravenell had hired prominent attorney Josh Treem and investigator Sean Gordon for his legal defense, but both men became part of the case and were also indicted by the federal government. Juries found both men innocent.

Because the jury acquitted Ravenell on six of the seven counts, White says this is proof that Byrd’s testimony was not credible and the evidence against his client is thin. And the two sides disagree on the facts surrounding Ravenell’s single count.

The government says Ravenell used his position to launder approximately $1.8 million in drug money received from Byrd, citing bank statements and Byrd’s testimony.

White continues to deny that Ravenell knowingly helped launder money, but if he did, only about $59,000 could reasonably be considered drug money, also citing Byrd’s testimony.

Ravenell has also filed a motion asking for a new trial — prosecutors have filed court documents against — and a judge is expected to rule on the appeal in the coming days.

Growing up in extreme poverty in South Carolina, Ravenell graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1984 and has practiced law in the state ever since. Due to the nature of his crimes, Ravenell could have his attorney’s license revoked if no new trial is ordered and his conviction is upheld.

In January, he asked the Maryland Court of Appeals not to revoke his license and included several letters from other attorneys and former clients in support of his request.

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