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Ex-Prosecutor To Plead Guilty To Money Laundering

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A former federal prosecutor and judge has agreed to plead guilty to a money laundering conspiracy and other charges in connection with a securities fraud scheme, authorities said Wednesday.

Samuel T. Currin, 57, of Raleigh, will plead guilty to conspiring to launder about $1.4 million from a securities fraud scheme through his law firm's client trust account, obstructing a grand jury investigation of the scheme and obstructing the Internal Revenue Service by failing to disclose on his tax return an off-shore debit-card account he controlled, authorities said.

Curren was the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, which covers 44 counties from Raleigh eastward, from 1981 to 1987 and was a Superior Court judge from 1987 to 1990.

A group that included one of Currin's legal clients engaged in a scheme to manipulate the stock prices of several publicly traded companies through the use of spam e-mail, mass unsolicited faxes, Internet search optimization and voicemail broadcasting, authorities said. The scheme garnered millions, and authorites said Currin received more than $240,000 for his involvement.

Authorities also said that he formed an Anguillan company and opened a debit-card account in the name of that company at a foreign bank. He then received thousands of dollars into that account but failed to disclose the existence of the account or the income on his 2004 federal income tax return, authorities said.

Currin also committed perjury while testifying last December to a grand jury investigating the securities scheme, authorities alleged.

He will be sentenced later and faces a maximum of 43 years in prison.