Local News

High-profile Raleigh defense attorney sentenced

Posted August 3, 2010

— A Raleigh defense attorney who tried to hide bank deposits from the Internal Revenue Service will serve one day in prison and nine months in a halfway house.

Johnny Sherwood Gaskins, who was sentenced in federal court on Monday, will spend three years on probation.

Investigators said Gaskins structured deposits at several RBC Centura banks to avoid federal income reporting laws. A federal indictment said Gaskins made numerous deposits, each just shy of $10,000, totaling more than $350,000 over a two-year period.

Deposits of more than $10,000 must be accompanied by a currency transaction report, which alerts the government of high streams of income that do not have a clear source.

Gaskins gained fame defending high-profile clients like Adam Sapikowski, the Chapel Hill teenager convicted of fatally shooting his parents in 2006.

Those in the legal community also credit Gaskins' skills as an attorney for getting a life prison sentence for Kawame Mays, a man convicted of shooting and killing Raleigh police officer Paul Hale in 1997.


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  • gammasandi Aug 3, 2010

    how about a little "together" time in a prison for him and the cop killer...they are both despicable!

  • kodac31 Aug 3, 2010

    I am also personally offended and I hope every citizen of North Carolina finds it offensive that not only are his "lawyer buddies" in Raleigh patting Gaskins on the back and praising his "talents" for getting a COP KILLER off the Death Penalty. But I also find it OUTRAGEOUS that WRAL has to highlight that as part of this story and rehash that tragic event. I feel sorry for the officer's family and the Raleigh police department for having to relive this tragedy due to the typical WRAL cop hating syle reporting. Real classy WRAL, yet again you are right there on the side of your trial lawyer buddies.

  • daisydog4me Aug 3, 2010

    and kodac...I had to read that twice myself...unbelievable

  • daisydog4me Aug 3, 2010

    The same guy that defended a cop killer is now in trouble...go figure...gotta love that karma!!

  • kodac31 Aug 3, 2010

    Those in the "legal community" praise Gaskins skills for getting a Police Officer MURDERER a life sentence versuses the Death Penalty for which he DESERVED!!!

  • harinootsak Aug 3, 2010

    To further clarify, they got him on US Code Title 31, NOT IR Code (which is subset of USC: Title 26). It's all convoluted, but he was low-hanging fruit for the $ laundering case.

    Lickad: "If we didn't have any lawyers, we wouldn't need any.
    " FUNNY!

  • harinootsak Aug 3, 2010

    BWWHAAT.: harinootsak "You said "he paid no taxes on this illegal income" and " it is not a tax evasion case in the same sentence""

    Yeah, yeah. The primary case against him was money laundering, of course it is tax evation at its core. Can't draw Venn diagrams in plaintext. The Internal Revenue Code is textbook convoluted, they could have nicked him on many many things. He was dumb enough that they got him on Title 31 Section 5313.

  • Lickad Aug 3, 2010

    If we didn't have any lawyers, we wouldn't need any.

  • BWWHAAT. Aug 3, 2010

    You said "he paid no taxes on this illegal income" and " it is not a tax evasion case in the same sentence"

  • harinootsak Aug 3, 2010

    Repeating, this was not a tax evation case. He did not follow the law. He paid no taxes on this illegal income. It was an open and shut criminal money laundering case. He's a criminal and a fool. He took payments from drug dealers he defended, and did a woeful job of laundering the cash into a US bank in multiple deposits just under $10K. The Treasury department's Financial Crimes unit, FinCEN had a case on him because the bank in question opened up a Suspicious Activity Report without his knowledge, they are required by law to NOT tell him, so FinCEN can watch activity to build case. He continued to deposit. ALL of the funds in question were forfeited.

    He certainly has drug thug generated $ squirreled away elsewhere that he will live on. Thought I hope to heck he will not be able to practice law again.