60-year-old Wilbur Ross of Glenside, Montgomery County was a businessman who had played by the rules his entire life, with not a conviction or arrest in his lifetime. That didn't dissuade the Department of Homeland Security from encouraging a former drug dealer--later a paid government informant--to visit Mr. Ross's check cashing franchise more than 28 times over a 2 1/2 year period in repeated attempts to entice Mr. Ross or his employees to violate federal money laundering and tax structuring statutes. Ms. Lefeber vigorously argued the defense of ENTRAPMENT.
The government's informant was repeatedly rebuffed by Mr. Ross and his staff, who not only declined to cooperate but filed numerous Suspicious Activity Reports with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network following the informant’s visits to the business.
Based solely on their informant’s allegations that Mr. Ross was laundering money for Jamaican drug organizations, and despite having no evidence that Mr. Ross had violated even regulatory reporting requirements, to say nothing of committing an actual crime, the federal government charged Mr. Ross with money laundering and structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements.
During the week-long trial, Ms. Lefeber successfully argued that Mr. Ross had no predisposition to commit the crimes of which he was accused, that the government had attempted to induce the alleged criminal acts, and that Mr. Ross was the victim of entrapment.
Mr. Ross is a free man today as a result of Ms. Lefeber's extraordinary work on his behalf.