Imprisoned man pleads guilty to money laundering

October 25, 1991|By William F. Zorzi Jr.

A 47-year-old man already in prison for two 1990 drug convictions pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to charges that he conspired to launder more than $500,000 as part of a Key West, Fla.-Ocean City cocaine-running operation.

Richard Royden McCleary provided cocaine to customers in Ocean City between late 1984 and June of 1989 and then laundered $514,000 in profits by investing in real estate, cars and home improvements, according to a statement of facts.

As part of the scheme, McCleary, who lived in both Key West and Worcester County during that time, purchased three homes and a lot in Ocean Pines in the names of three corporations he set up with his wife, Suzanne Gentz McCleary.

To pay for the properties the couple bought there, McCleary and his wife transferred large amounts of cash from banks in the Netherlands Antilles to two Maryland lawyers' escrow accounts. McCleary's wife pleaded guilty in May to structuring financial transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements.

McCleary, currently serving 25 years at Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County for his role in the Ocean City-based drug ring, faces a maximum of five years in prison, three years supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy conviction. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 25.

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