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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Perry Cortese Partner in Crime Convicted of Murder for Hire

Former Kerrville lawyer Perry Don Cortese is waiting to be sentenced by a federal judge on a multi-count conviction for wire fraud and money laundering. Meanwhile, his co-defendant just got convicted for trying to hire a hit man to kill a witness against her and Cortese.

Killeen woman convicted of murder-for-hire plot in Florida

A federal jury in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday found a Killeen woman guilty of murder-for-hire, retaliating against witnesses and conspiring to create counterfeit securities.

Priscilla Ann Ellis, 52, could be sentenced up to 30 years in federal prison. Her sentencing isn’t yet scheduled, a U.S. Department of Justice news release said.

This conviction added to her October conviction for international money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Perry Don Cortese, 53, a Bell County lawyer who worked in Little River-Academy, was convicted along with Ellis and Ellis’ daughter, Kenietta Rayshawn Johnson, 35, of Kansas....

While the plans were made, Ellis contacted a Nigerian-based counterfeiter to create counterfeit cashiers’ check images, steal bank customer information to open new accounts and email the images to other conspirators in the United States to print and cash or deposit into new accounts. Those funds were to be wired into yet other accounts the conspirators controlled or cashed, the release said.

Part of the reason for the elaborate scheme was to pay for the two contract murders. The intended loss of the scheme was several million dollars.

Investigating the case was the FBI and the Austin Police Department.

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