A Dallas lawyer pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money for someone he believed was a drug dealer — but who was actually an undercover drug enforcement agent.
Rayshun Jackson, 51, was introduced to the undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency by a drug dealer under investigation who claimed the attorney was implicitly trustworthy as: “He’s a thug. He’s just got a law degree.”
Prosecutors said Jackson told the agent he would have no difficulty in laundering $500,000 a month of what the undercover officer made clear was “dope money.”
“I don’t care where the money comes from,” Jackson was recorded as saying.
In a series of recorded conversations starting in September 2020, Jackson said that for a 5% fee, he would set up a business such as a coin-operated laundromat or car wash for the purported drug operation. Jackson would then take cash the agent gave him and move it through bank accounts his law firm used for pro bono cases and ultimately deposit it in small batches into a business account controlled by the drug gang, according to court filings.
Initially, the agent brought Jackson a black backpack stuffed with $100,000 to launder in a trial run to test his services. After the money cleared about three weeks later, the agent returned with $300,000 which Jackson also laundered. Jackson took a $20,000 cut for his services, prosecutors said.
Jackson was arrested in April.
“As an attorney, Mr. Jackson swore an oath to uphold the rule of law — an oath he violated completely when he conspired with purported drug traffickers,” said Prerak Shah, acting U.S. attorney for the northern district of Texas. “Street-level dealers may be the most conspicuous sign of our nation’s drug epidemic, but the men and women who launder the profits are no less culpable.”
A message left with Jackson’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned.
In his plea agreement, Jackson admitted he knew what he was doing was illegal and that he was aware he was laundering purported drug proceeds.
Jackson faces five years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 17.