UPDATE 2-NY lawyer Dreier indicted for money laundering

Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:51pm EDT

Related Topics

* Money laundering added to investment fraud charges

* U.S. seeks $700 mln in forfeiture from Dreier (Adds comment by Dreier's lawyer)

By Grant McCool

NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters) - High-profile New York lawyer Marc Dreier, under house arrest on charges of running an investment fraud involving as much as $700 million, was indicted on an additional charge of money laundering on Tuesday.

Papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan detailed money laundering and other charges against Dreier, and showed that prosecutors are seeking about $700 million in forfeiture from the lawyer, who once ran a 250-member law firm. The indictment indicated that fraud victims were owed about $400 million.

Dreier's lawyer Gerald Shargel said the money laundering indictment did not change his view of the case.

"We are looking for a fair resolution and will continue with that effort," Shargel said. He said Dreier has been working with a court-appointed trustee and a receiver for the bankrupt firm Dreier LLP.

Dreier, previously indicted by a U.S. grand jury on Jan. 30 on charges including securities fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud, was released from jail on bail last month into house arrest and under armed guard in his apartment.

The 58-year-old lawyer has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to hedge funds and investment funds that he was selling promissory notes on behalf of a New York developer and a pension fund in Canada.

Harvard-educated and a lawyer for 30 years, Dreier was arrested on a charge in Canada, but granted bail there. He was arrested upon his Dec. 7 return to New York.

The superseding indictment said that from 2004 to December 2008, Dreier "sold to funds and others approximately $700 million worth of Fake Developer Notes and Fake Pension Plan Notes."

It said that "as a result of committing the money laundering offense, Marc Dreier shall forfeit to the United States all property, real and personal, involved in the offense." (Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Gary Hill, Toni Reinhold)

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