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White-Collar Crime

Attorney Acquitted in 36-Count Federal Drug & Money-Laundering Case

Posted Nov 18, 2009 4:58 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Corrected: A Georgia attorney and his friends and supporters were jubilant today after a federal jury acquitted him on all 36 counts in a drug and money-laundering case that could have resulted in a life prison sentence.

Dabbing at tears as U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land read the verdict at about 2:45 p.m., Mark Shelnutt exited a cheering courtroom about five minutes later. He said little afterward, simply praising his lawyers and saying that he intends to celebrate tonight, reports the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Accused of a connection with a client's claimed $9 million-a-month cocaine-distribution operation, the Columbus attorney had been charged with money laundering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, attempted bribery and making false statements to federal agents, according to the newspaper and other media reports of the trial.

Additional coverage:

Ledger-Enquirer: "Shelnutt’s trial begins today"

WLTZ: "Torrance Hill's girlfriend testifies against Shelnutt"

WRBL: "Torrance Hill Testifies in Shellnut Case"

Last updated at 9:15 a.m. Nov. 19 to correct the state from which this story originated, Georgia.

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