COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus Attorney Mark Shelnutt describes his Money Laundering Trial as a government conspiracy to get him. "If this case was about money laundering where were all the other lawyers who helped represent Torrence Hill. This case didn't have anything to do with money laundering it had something to do with taking down Mark Shelnutt," says Shelnutt.
He adds, "You heard the evidence of the agent coming at me who had to be restrained after a court hearing. There was animosity. I called them on things they were not doing right. I was defending people, that's the reason. I fought and pointed out the things I thought was wrong."
Shelnutt was indicted on 40 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, making false statements to federal agents and bribery. He was acquitted on all counts. Some of which were dismissed before the case went to the jury. The 8300 form, required by the IRS for persons receiving more than $10,000 in cash, he claims the government never asked Attorney Day about that. Hill's girlfriend LaTea Davis testified that she took money wrapped in a gift box to Shelnutt's office and gave it to Day.
During testimony, Shelnutt's client Torrence Hill testified against him only after hearing Shelnutt tell authorities in a recorded conversation, that he couldn't have possibly been a part of Hill's organization because he was the one who had Hill arrested.
"They take that clip and the astonishing thing is they didn't play the rest of it where I say I don't know and they play that for Torrence Hill and they do it for a reason and it's scary. They do it to get him to turn on me, "says Shelnutt. I didn't know anything about the informant giving authorities information about Hill.
Shelnutt also denies that he received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hill's co-conspirators.
"I did get of course $40,000 to $50,000 over a three year period. Those fees were all accounted for, but this notion of people bringing garbage bags of money is absurd and it really hurt when Shawn Bunkley said he met me in a parking lot and gave me $125,000," says Shelnutt.
And there's the list of names Shelnutt was accused of showing Tamika Hill of drug dealers to collect money from and bring to him.
"In the last closing argument, Mr. Bourne, told the jury there was two mentions of the list, but that was an absolute lie. That's why there was so much shuffling at the defense table. We were trying to find the transcripts to show that was not true. I was referring to a letter Tamika Hill's lawyer had written.
Shelnutt says the case has been mind boggling. He says he plans to go forward with his practice and some day write a book about the ordeal.