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4th Circuit declines to delay Ravenell’s prison sentence while he appeals conviction

Kenneth W. Ravenell. (The Daily Record/File photo)

Baltimore defense lawyer Kenneth W. Ravenell will not be able to avoid serving time in prison while he appeals his money laundering conviction, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

In a brief order, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ravenell’s request to delay his sentence of nearly five years in federal prison or to grant him bail during the appeal.

Two members of the three-judge panel voted to deny the motion. The third, Judge Robert B. King, voted to grant the motion.

Ravenell, 63, is scheduled to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Oct. 15 to begin his federal prison sentence of four years and nine months.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Ravenell helped launder nearly $2 million for a former criminal defense client who was the head of a large-scale marijuana trafficking organization. The indictment also charged that Ravenell acted as a consigliere for the organization, offering tips on how to evade law enforcement and make drug proceeds appear legitimate.

Jurors found Ravenell guilty of a single count of money laundering but rejected other charges, including narcotics and racketeering conspiracy.

Among other issues, the defense team is challenging the conviction on the grounds that the drug money Ravenell accepted went toward paying for criminal defense work. They argue that the federal money laundering statute exempts money used to pay for criminal legal defense.