Son’s alleged cocaine ring under scrutiny
LOS ANGELES – A retired Police Department deputy chief is under investigation for real estate transactions that authorities believe may have laundered money from a cocaine ring headed by his son, it was reported Sunday.
Police officials have been looking into allegations against 66-year-old Maurice Moore for more than a year, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A 40-year LAPD veteran, Moore retired in January as investigators from the Police Department and FBI probed his financial ties to his son, Kevin Moore, a convicted cocaine trafficker.
Authorities are looking at two real estate transactions connected with Maurice Moore to determine whether he attempted to hide assets generated by his son’s Detroit-based cocaine dealing, the Times said, citing public documents and interviews with witnesses.
Both transactions occurred in 1992, while Kevin Moore was in federal prison for smuggling about a half ton of cocaine into the country. His drug dealing continued in prison, according to court records and sources, the Times said.
In one of the transactions, the elder Moore purchased an apartment building in Los Angeles in 1992. Seven years later, as Kevin Moore was about to plead guilty to money laundering, he claimed the apartment building belonged to him.
The other deal involves a house in Cheviot Hills that was transferred into Maurice Moore’s name on July 7, 1992. The house was deeded to him by Cheryl Frazier, whose sister, Anna Moore, was married to Kevin Moore and participated in his drug and money-laundering enterprises.
In a 1999 plea agreement to money laundering in connection with prison orchestrated drug dealing, Kevin Moore agreed to turn over $1 million in drug profits to the government, and in return, prosecutors agreed not to seize the two properties.
However, records indicate that neither of those properties was his, the Times said. That was significant because federal law gives authorities the ability to seize property purchased with drug proceeds or used to facilitate drug transactions.
Maurice Moore, through his attorney, denied any wrongdoing but declined to comment further. His lawyer also declined to discuss the matter in detail.
The Times said LAPD detectives recently traveled to Detroit to meet with investigators who worked on the Kevin Moore cocaine case, as well as interviewing several potential witnesses in the Los Angeles area.
The allegations came as Moore concluded a long career with the LAPD. Moore joined the department in 1961 as black officers were being integrated into the force. He worked his way up through the ranks, and was promoted to deputy chief by Chief Bernard Parks in December 1998. He is a friend of Parks and also served as Parks’ special assistant.