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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Legal Peers ‘IN SHOCK’ Over Top Attorney’s Arrest

‘FINE LAWYER’: Attorney Robert A. George was arrested yesterday at his home in Westwood by Drug Enforcement Administration agents on federal charges of laundering $225,000 in drug money.

Legal Peers ‘IN SHOCK’ Over Top Attorney’s Arrest

Boston’s legal A-listers, floored by yesterday’s arrest of high-profile attorney Robert A. George on federal charges of laundering $225,000 in drug money, were quick to speak out in his defense — and stunned by the idea that a glib, skilled and much-admired colleague could land where many of his notorious clients are: behind bars.

“He’s a really good lawyer and a real good guy,” said Jeffrey Denner, George’s former colleague. “We’re all in shock at these allegations.”

Attorney Thomas Drechsler called George “a fine lawyer. He’s entitled to his day in court. I hope everyone remembers that.”

Rosemary Scapicchio, who rushed to George’s side to represent him, called the unfolding drama “surreal” and “outrageous.”

George, 56 — whose clients have included former New England Mafia godfather Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme and Christopher McCowen, the Cape Cod trash collector convicted of the 2002 murder of Big Apple fashion scribe Christa Worthington — was arrested early yesterday morning at his $1.5 million manse in Westwood by Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

Prosecutors claim they have George cold on tape, allegedly telling one witness he had an associate in Dover who assisted him “with cleaning money,” according to a DEA affidavit.
“Anyone of us, whether it’s attorneys or court personnel or the media, know that Bob is a real warrior,” said George’s longtime friend, attorney Kevin Reddington, who’ll fill out the defense team. “He’s maintaining his innocence 100 percent and looks forward to proving it in court.”

Handcuffed, in a casual blue jersey and jeans, George appeared briefly hours later in U.S. District Court, but did not enter a plea to the criminal complaint accusing him of being in cahoots since February 2009 with two unidentified informants — one of whom he previously defended against larceny charges.

Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings released George on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Bar Counsel Constance V. Vecchione said George does not face an interim suspension of his law license, but will be advised to obtain informed consent from clients that they’re aware of his criminal case.

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