A lawyer who helped a marijuana dispensary mogul launder profits faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced next year, officials said.
Richard C. Brizendine, 59, of Long Beach pleaded guilty Monday to money laundering and conspiracy to structure cash deposits to avoid federal reporting requirements. He's scheduled to be sentenced in May.
Federal prosecutors said that over a six-year period, Brizendine represented dispensary owner John Melvin Walker, who owned marijuana shops in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
As the profits poured in – officials say Walker made $25 million – Brizendine helped shield some of the profits from the government.
Brizendine helped structure cash deposits in several accounts at less than $10,000 – the legal threshold for reporting to the federal government, prosecutors said.
Brizendine helped structure at least $389,000 in profits, authorities say.
His client, Walker, was convicted last year for failing to report millions of his profits and was sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison.
Brizendine remains free on $500,000 bail until his sentencing next year.