Las Vegas lawyer R. Christopher Reade pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to a felony charge tied to a $2.3 million money laundering scheme involving one of his former clients.
The client, Richard Young, 54, of Montana, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison in December 2011 in a $16 million investment fraud scheme.
Reade, 43, a longtime civil attorney, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro to one count of accessory after the fact to laundering of monetary instruments.
Navarro set a May 2 sentencing.
Reade admitted in his plea agreement that he hid from authorities the role of Young in the $2.3 million purchase in 2007 of a company that brokered sales on the high-risk foreign currency exchange market.
At the time, Reade represented Young and his Global One Group, an Internet-based company that claimed to be training people how to trade on the currency exchange market. Young ran his massive fraud scheme online through Global One, defrauding investors out of $16 million between 2006 and 2008, according to federal prosecutors.
Reade acknowledged that Young and Global One funneled the $2.3 million into a holding company Reade created to purchase the currency exchange broker, Trend Commodities, and lied to regulators about it.
“Defendant Reade knew that his representations were false and that Young had committed the offense of money laundering by directing the transfer of money … for the Trend purchase,” Read’s plea agreement states.
Reade and his defense lawyer, Richard Wright, declined comment on the plea deal afterward.
Wright said his client put his law license on inactive status amid the criminal investigation while the State Bar of Nevada considers disciplinary action.
State Bar Counsel David Clark said he would file a petition asking the Nevada Supreme Court to temporarily suspend Reade’s license until the bar takes action. Reade, a University of Nebraska law school graduate, has been a State Bar member since 1998.
Navarro accepted Reade’s plea Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey disclosed that she had participated in civil cases with Reade while she was a lawyer and removed herself from the criminal case to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
A judge will be randomly assigned to hand out Reade’s sentence.
Both the Reade and Young cases were investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.