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LOS ANGELES �— Thomas Burton, an attorney in Newport Beach, Calif., has pleaded guilty to a federal money laundering charge and admitted he laundered $500,000 for a man involved in an international mail fraud scheme. According to the plea agreement, Burton agreed to launder the money for Daryl Ray Rice, who recorded their conversation for the Federal Bureau of Information. Burton said he could make Rice’s mail fraud proceeds “look like an investment” by preparing documentation as if it were a loan. Their plan was to wire $500,000 to an offshore account of a company called UniCache, which would wire $200,000 from a different account to Rice’s attorney’s trust account. The FBI instructed Rice to complete the transaction using a $50,000 transfer to the UniCache account. UniCache then wired $30,000 to an account in the United States and $20,000 to Rice’s attorney’s trust account. Burton faces 20 years in federal prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Ana, Calif., on Feb. 4. He also agreed to reimburse the FBI $30,000.

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