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Judge Jones sets a higher bar for proving money laundering

A Pennington Gap dentist convicted of defrauding Medicaid is the beneficiary of a new interpretation of the federal money laundering statute. U.S. District Judge James P. Jones reads the recent Santos opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court as requiring a higher standard of proof when someone is accused of using ill-gotten gains to promote an illegal enterprise.

In this opinion and order, Judge Jones dismisses seven money laundering convictions in the case of Dr. Roy Shelburne. Jones found that payments for rent and dental supplies were not shown to have come from “proceeds” of Medicaid fraud. He also held that Shelburne’s own salary payments did not constitute “promotion” of illegal activity.

The Bristol Herald Courier quotes Tony Giorno, the U.S. assistant attorney who prosecuted the case, as saying that his team may appeal the decision. He described the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the money laundering statute as a “sea change” in the law, saying “we knew we would have problems with that.”
By Peter Vieth

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