BREAKING BLOG NEWS
Rumors have persisted for months and today the Miami Herald reports
as breaking news that our respected colleague Ben Kuehne has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for money laudering. He is surrendering in Federal Court today.
The indictment stems from Kuehne's role in reviewing and vouching for the legitimacy of payments made by a Colombian citizen Fabio Ochoa to attorney Roy Black for representation in Miami for drug trafficking charges.
From the Herald Article:
Kuehne's research gave Black the confidence -- in the form of legal opinion letters -- to accept payments totaling $3.7 million in fees and $1.3 million in expenses from Ochoa, according to several sources. Kuehne earned a portion of the expense payments -- $220,000 to $260,000 -- from Black for vetting Ochoa's payments, sources said...
Ironically, the investigation first focused on Black following Ochoa's conviction at his 2003 trial in Miami. But authorities dropped their interest in Black and shifted to Kuehne, who became the target because his buffer-like role insulated Ochoa's defense attorney from any criminal liability for accepting the fees.
There is no joy in Mudville today, and we wish our colleague Mr. Kuehne the very best in his time of trouble and turmoil. This can be a difficult business sometimes and we sincerely hope for the best for Mr. Kuehne.