A federal appeals court today upheld the 3 1/2-year sentence of local defense attorney Robert George, in a decision that reads more like the outline for a crime novel than your traditional dry appellate ruling.
We write today about the curious case of Robert George, a criminal-lawyer-turned-convict. Our story ... starts in a Massachusetts town, sometime in early 2009. Standing in line to buy coffee at a Dunkin' Donuts, George bumped into ex-con Ronald Dardinski. The two went back a ways. George had represented Dardinski in a couple of criminal proceedings. And Dardinski had wanted George to represent him in another criminal matter too, a larceny scheme where he had "sold" some repossessed cars that were not his to sell, pocketing $750,000 from would-be buyers without giving them the autos.
The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said George did nothing to dissuade them the successful government case that George agreed in 2009 to launder money for Dardinski that turned out to be a plant from the DEA, for whom Dardinski was working as an informant after a career as a two-bit hoodlum.
Money has long been a sore spot between the men, with Dardinski convinced that George had overcharged him in the other cases. Indeed, as recorded on tapes from prison, Dardinski had told his girlfriend that if George did not pay up, then "when I get out, I'm going to go smash his head in." Anyway, reunited at Dunkin' Donuts, George asked Dardinski, "Oh, what did you ever do with all that money?" - little did George know about Dardinski's head-smashing threat, apparently. ...
George knew every dirty detail behind Dardinski's repo caper, having gotten them straight from Dardinski's mouth when Dardinski was looking for a lawyer to help deal with the fallout from that caper. So a rational jury could easily conclude that when George asked Dardinski what he had done with "all that money" and then said that "I can get rid of it for you," George was
referring to the loot Dardinski had made from that illegal activity.