A Bowling Green real estate and finance attorney is set to appear in federal court Thursday to face allegations that he conspired to launder money.
H. Harris Pepper Jr. is accused in a federal information of participating in the alleged conspiracy from 2008 to 2016.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Pepper is scheduled to appear Thursday in U.S. District Court in Louisville for an arraignment and initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Justin Walker.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky claims that Pepper was provided $125,000 in cash by a person identified in the information as D.B. who used that money to buy an ownership stake in Hard Six, a company that owned real estate and buildings it leased to Dollar General Store.
Pepper and D.B. both knew that portions of the proceeds invested in Hard Six were proceeds of an unlawful activity, and Pepper did not document or record D.B.’s ownership stake in an effort to conceal D.B’s involvement in the transaction, according to federal court records.
In 2010, D.B. provided $90,000 to Pepper for an attempted purchase of a percentage of ownership of a Louisville Road apartment complex, and Pepper also did not document or record D.B.’s involvement in the transaction, knowing that the money had been acquired unlawfully, the federal information said.
Also, Pepper is accused of hiding D.B.’s purchases of ownership stakes in HAAM Investments, for which Pepper was provided $250,000, and MYP Properties, for which Pepper was provided with $200,000 and relief in gambling debt, court records show.
Pepper did not record or document D.B.’s ownership stake in HAAM Investments, which was founded to buy a Russellville apartment complex. Pepper transferred his ownership of HAAM Investments, in 2009, but he did not know that D.B. sold his ownership interest in 2016 and received a $160,000 check, according to court records.
In April 2016, Pepper gave D.B. about $59,436 in cash as a return on his investment in MYP Properties, a company formed to own apartment complexes, according to court records.
That same month, Pepper wrote a check for $20,000 payable to Kentucky Aviation Partners for D.B.’s benefit.
The allegations in the information against Pepper mirror those found in court records for the criminal case of Douglas Booth, who pleaded guilty last year to five counts of failing to file federal income tax returns, four counts of money laundering and one count each of transmission of wagering information and conspiring to launder money.
Federal prosecutors said Booth controlled websites where gambling on sporting events took place, with the sites being hosted in Costa Rica.
“During the course of operating the sports wagering websites he received approximately $2,395,000 in proceeds from his gambling operation that he laundered through banks, property purchases and loan payments,” Booth’s plea agreement said.
A federal indictment described Booth conspiring with “an unnamed person” to conceal the proceeds, listing the investments that federal prosecutors have linked to Pepper.
Booth has been ordered to forfeit $471,572.50 in cash, 24 silver bars and $60,212 in poker chips. A separate forfeiture order mandates that Booth give up $364,000 in lieu of the seizure of two Bowling Green properties and two private planes. He is set to be sentenced April 6 in U.S. District Court in Louisville.