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LOS ANGELES — A federal judge has temporarily ruled that federal prosecutors in the criminal case against civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that four money laundering counts involved tainted funds. A jury convicted Yagman, of Venice Beach, Calif.-based Yagman, Yagman & Reichmann, in June on all counts of the government’s indictment, which involved 17 money laundering counts, one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count of tax evasion. Yagman had sought acquittal of seven money-laundering counts on the grounds that, in each case, federal prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the transaction exceeded $10,000. In a July 30 order, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson of the Central District of California questioned the government’s proof that the transactions in four counts involved criminally derived funds. The transactions involved three checks totaling $70,000 that were purportedly derived from the attorney fees from the settlement of two legal cases and $12,000 withdrawn from a bank account in the name of Yagman’s girlfriend. The judge ordered both parties to file briefs by Aug. 7 to determine whether three other money laundering transactions involved more than $10,000 in tainted funds. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment. Yagman’s lawyer, Barry Tarlow, a partner at Los Angeles-based Tarlow & Berk, did not return calls.

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