Lawyer gets six more days for cutting off monitoring bracelet
Lawyer A. Mark Vanderveen, who received a six-month sentence after taking drug money from a client, thought he might spend his last day of home confinement going for a bicycle ride with his family.
SEATTLE – Lawyer A. Mark Vanderveen, who received a six-month sentence after taking drug money from a client, thought he might spend his last day of home confinement going for a bicycle ride with his family.
He called the U.S. Probation Office to ask for permission to cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet six hours early, and was promptly denied. Then, like a "petulant teenager," according to U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez, he cut it off anyway.
On Friday, his behavior earned him an extra six days in prison — one for each hour — and an extra month of home confinement. According to his lawyer, Robert Chadwell, Vanderveen never even went on the bike ride.
"I can't really explain it," Chadwell said. "It was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do."
Vanderveen, of suburban Kenmore, ran afoul of the law when he accepted $20,000 in cash from another lawyer, James L. White, to represent a suspected drug runner. Vanderveen pleaded guilty last year, admitting he failed to report the money to the IRS. He received three months in prison and three months of home confinement.
White, who admitted accepting $250,000 in tainted money from a drug trafficker, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. White and Vanderveen also admitted that they tailed Vanderveen's client to see if he was acting as a federal informant. Vanderveen's law license has been suspended.
Chadwell said that on Sept. 23, the day Vanderveen had planned to go on the bike ride, he came down with the flu. Nevertheless, he cut off his monitoring bracelet at 11 a.m. — six hours before the term ended. Vanderveen claimed he spent the day in bed as his wife drove their son to soccer.
On Thursday, another defense lawyer was charged with failing to report receipt of more than $10,000. Stephen J. Plowman, of Bellevue, was scheduled to enter a plea on Monday. Plowman declined to speak with The Associated Press on Friday.
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