A Los Angeles attorney convicted earlier this
year of laundering money that was part of the haul from an armored car
company heist has resigned from the State Bar with charges pending. DAVID
MATSUMOTO [#77325], 51, was placed on interim suspension July 20
and gave up his license Sept. 6, 2001. He was sentenced in October to
27 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to six counts of
money laundering and one count of aiding and abetting the filing of a
false tax return.
Matsumoto, who lived in Las Vegas but practiced
in Los Angeles, and his ex-law office manager, Joaquin Bin, were
indicted in September 2000 on 71 counts of money laundering,
structuring financial transactions and subscribing to a false income
Bin, a Santa Ynez Arabian horse-farm owner,
pleaded guilty in April to seven counts of money laundering and was
sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.
Matsumoto admitted he took $1 million from two of
the robbers who stole $18.9 million from the downtown Los Angeles
office of Dunbar Armored in 1997. Federal authorities said it was the
largest cash robbery of an armored car company in U.S. history, and
agents still don't know what happened to most of the money.
Bin also received $1 million from the robbers.
He and Matsumoto deposited their take in
Matsumoto's client trust account. Some was used to buy a house in
Las Vegas, Matsumoto wrote checks to the robbers to give the
impression they were earning wages, and the rest of the money was
invested, according to a federal prosecutor.
Most of the money was invested in Combustion
Processing Manufacturing Corp., a Houston company that is trying to
develop a machine to clean contaminated soil after oil spills.
Matsumoto also issued a W-2 tax form to one of
the robbers, implying that he earned more than $40,000 for legitimate
The case was broken when the FBI traced a broken
tail light found at the robbery scene to a truck rented by Eugene
Lamar Hill Jr. of Bellflower, one of the two who provided the money to
Matsumoto and Bin.
After his arrest, Hill pleaded guilty and
fingered his accomplices. All have been convicted, sentenced to
federal prison for terms ranging from eight to 17 years, and ordered
to pay $18.9 million in restitution.
Former Dunbar security guard Allen Pace III, who
had been fired the night before the robbery, was convicted in June of
masterminding the robbery.
He was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.
Matsumoto, who was a sole practitioner, also
faces charges stemming from a drunken driving arrest earlier this