A Dallas lawyer has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for conspiring to launder money he believed was linked to narcotics trafficking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced today.
Rayshun Jackson, the 52-year-old former defense attorney who ran The Jackson Law Firm, was arrested in April 2021. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money in September 2021 and was sentenced Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Barbara M.G. Lynn. At the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor told the court that a five year sentence would reflect the seriousness of the offense, promote respect for the law, and provide just punishment.
According to plea papers, Mr. Jackson admitted to laundering $380,000 for an individual he believed was a drug trafficker, but was actually an undercover DEA agent.
He was introduced to the agent on Sept. 3, 2020 by “Person A,” the leader of a large-scale opioid distribution ring known to deal in illegally diverted narcotics. After Person A vouched for undercover agent’s credibility, Mr. Jackson and the undercover agent discussed how the attorney could “clean” the agent’s “dope money.”
Mr. Jackson advised the agent that he could launder around $500,000 a month by funneling it through non-traceable cash businesses (i.e., coin laundries, car washes) and shell corporations.
“Ray is the bomb… He’s a thug, he’s just got a law degree,” Person A told the undercover agent after the meeting, according to court documents.
Three weeks later, the undercover agent delivered a black backpack stuffed with $100,000 cash to Mr. Jackson at his office. Jackson agreed to launder the money for a 4% fee and a 1% bonus in cash up front. After depositing the remaining $95,000 into his various firm bank accounts in various amounts on various days, he eventually transferred the entire sum into the DEA’s undercover bank account.
The next month, the undercover agent delivered an additional $300,000 cash to Mr. Jackson at his office. Again, Jackson agreed to a 4% fee and a 1% bonus in cash in return for laundering the money. After depositing the remaining $285,000 into his various firm bank accounts in various amounts on various days, he eventually transferred the same amount into the DEA’s undercover bank account.
In plea papers, Mr. Jackson admitted he knew of the unlawful purpose of the agreement and joined in it willingly.
“The sentencing of Rayshun Jackson marks the end of a successful investigation by DEA Dallas. Criminal drug organizations need a combination of individuals who are willing to distribute drugs as well as those who hide and attempt to legitimize profits,” said DEA Dallas Special Agent in Charge, Eduardo A. Chávez. “Mr. Jackson agreed to launder what he believed to be drug proceeds with DEA undercover. The sentencing of Mr. Jackson is just. With overdose deaths and poisonings reaching record highs, everyone will be held accountable for their criminal actions.”
“Individuals such as Mr. Jackson, who use money laundering methods to conceal the true source of illegal drug profits, run the risk of serving jail time,” said Christopher J. Altemus, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Dallas Field Office. “The sentence imposed by the court is a reminder to criminals that money laundering schemes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted. IRS-CI special agents are proud to work hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners to bring criminals like Mr. Jackson to justice.”
As a result of his federal conviction, the Supreme Court of Texas canceled Jackson’s law license and ordered that he be prohibited from practicing law in the State of Texas on Nov. 9, 2021.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Office and IRS – Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Dallas Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Coker is prosecuting the case along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden.