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October 4, 2023

#WednesdayWisdom: Money Laundering Is Not a Specialization CPAs Should Pursue

Laundering your blue Oxford dress shirts, blouses, gray trousers, and fleece vests, good. Laundering money, bad.

From the Times of San Diego:

A San Diego-based certified public accountant was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in federal prison for his role in an international drug trafficking, gambling and money laundering organization led by former University of Southern California football player Owen “O’Dog” Hanson.

Being in cahoots with a meathead-turned-drug lord who goes by the name “O’Dog” is not going to end well for you.

Let’s continue:

Luke Fairfield, 40, pleaded guilty last year, admitting that his role in the “ODOG” enterprise included laundering money, aiding in the creation of shell companies to hide ODOG’s criminal proceeds, and training money runners on methods and tactics to hide the organization’s activities from law enforcement and banks. On one occasion, Fairfield personally transferred proceeds of Hanson’s Australian drug trafficking to the United States using an alias and fake identification, prosecutors said.

According to a San Diego Tribune article, the alias Fairfield used was “Lucas Scott.” C’mon, dude, you couldn’t come up with anything better than that? What, is that his actual first and middle names? He would have been better off using his porn name. (Mine is Casey Bayberry.)

Hanson, a walk-on tight end on the 2004 USC championship-winning football team, was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Dec. 15, 2017, after pleading guilty to racketeering and drug distribution charges.

According to the Times of San Diego, Hanson operated ODOG in the United States, Central and South America, and Australia from 2012 to 2016, trafficking in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. ODOG also operated an illegal gambling network focused on high-stakes wagers placed on sporting events.

Fairfield also helped Hanson track the collection of debts from bookies and gamblers who owed the ODOG enterprise hundreds of thousands of dollars from illegal bookmaking, according to the Times of San Diego.

Fairfield, who is free on bond, was ordered to surrender on Nov. 9, the article states. Because of his conviction, he is no longer licensed as a CPA.

Too bad, as according to Fairfield’s bio on his firm’s website, he’s really into client service:

Our firm’s reliability and reputation has become extremely well known in this area as the leading provider of reputable tax service. We continue to add new clients from current satisfied clients and strive to treat everyone as if they were our most important client.

This concludes your #WednesdayWisdom lesson of the day. You’re welcome.

Image: iStock/nico_blue

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