Former DART Board Member to Plead Guilty in Money Laundering Case

Dallas lawyer and former DART Board Member Ray Jackson | Image from FOX4 News

A Dallas lawyer has agreed to plead guilty to a federal money laundering charge, court records show. Prominent Dallas lawyer and former DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) board member Ray Jackson is accused of laundering drug money through his firm. The 51-year-old member of The Jackson Law Firm was arrested in April after a sting operation.

Court records show that Jackson’s plea terms require him to serve five years in prison and relinquish $20,000. In return, he would plead guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Jackson initially faced up to twenty years in prison for each financial transaction. However, the plea deal reduces his prison time to five years. His guilty plea will become official after a judge approves it. In Dallas federal court, a hearing to settle his case had been scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 29.

The Dallas City Council had previously appointed Jackson to serve on the DART board from 2017 until earlier this year. The criminal defense lawyer did not seek reappointment for the position following his arrest.

The case against Jackson started after a business associate and former client of his sold drugs to an undercover DEA agent. The former client, who court records identified as “Person A,” ran an opioid trafficking operation.

The DEA agent asked “Person A” if they knew anyone who could launder about half a million dollars in drug money, and the dealer recommended Jackson. Court records indicate that “Person A” considered Jackson trustworthy.

The dealer told the DEA agent that “he’s (Jackson) gonna clean it. He’s gonna wash it,” records show.

According to a federal complaint, the DEA agent told Jackson he needed to launder around “half a mil a month” after being introduced to Jackson.

“This dude has been leading us. We are successful because of him,” the dealer allegedly told the undercover agent after the meeting. “Ray is the bomb. He’s a thug. He’s just got a law degree.”

According to prosecutors, Jackson agreed to use his law firm’s bank account to launder the cash from the drug sales. Then, the money would be returned to the dealer using multiple wire transfers. Both men agreed that Jackson would get a five percent fee for laundering the money.

“I don’t care where the money comes from,” Jackson said to the DEA agent when he was told the money is “straight dope money.”

Jackson told the agent that he could have everything ready in about two to four weeks. He also agreed to a $100,000 “trial run” with a promise of more business.

According to the DEA, the agent returned to Jackson’s office in September and handed him the $100,000 in cash that he said had come from drug dealing.

“Mr. Jackson suggested setting up a ‘shell corporation,’ as well as a cash business like a coin laundry or car wash that would make it difficult for authorities to track proceeds,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The undercover DEA agent returned to Jackson’s office again in late November to give him an additional $300,000 in reported drug proceeds.

Authorities said a Jackson Law Firm bank account made several deposits, each less than $50,000, with Jackson keeping his five percent fee.

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