Real estate attorney H. Harris Pepper Jr. of Bowling Green, Kentucky, entered a guilty plea to money laundering, according to U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman.
“The rule of law means that everyone is held to the same standard, to include attorneys and influential members of communities like Bowling Green. This result is the product of a diligent career federal prosecutor and strong investigative work by the IRS,” said U.S. Attorney Coleman.
“Legal professionals are held to high ethical standards. Harris Pepper, Jr., a trusted real estate attorney, went to great lengths to conceal the true ownership of several real estate investments. The IRS will take every step to ferret out those who conspire to launder the proceeds earned from illegal sports gambling,” said Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
According to a plea agreement, from 2008 through 2016, Pepper conspired with Douglas Booth to conceal proceeds of Booth’s illegal sports-gambling operation in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Department of Justice says that Pepper conspired with Booth to launder proceeds of the illegal gambling operation into real estate investments. They say Booth purchased percentage ownership of Hard Six, LLC, by providing $125,000 in cash to Pepper and that Hard Six owned real estate buildings that it leased to Dollar General Store, Inc.
Both Pepper and Booth allegedly knew the investment from Booth was funded by unlawful activity.
In 2010, Booth attempted to purchase percentage ownership of an apartment complex on Louisville Road in Bowling Green, Kentucky, by providing $90,000 in cash to Pepper. Both men knew portions of the proceeds invested were from illegal activity. Pepper did not document or record Booth as an owner in the apartment complex in order to conceal Booth’s involvement in the transaction.
According to the plea agreement, the United States will seek a sentence of imprisonment which should not exceed 12 months and 1 day of imprisonment.
Pepper’s sentencing is scheduled for June 11 at 10 a.m. in Louisville, Kentucky.