Jury: Calmes guilty on 5 of 8 counts

Kevin Calmes
Kevin Calmes

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A federal jury has reached a verdict in the money laundering trial of Denham Springs businessman Kevin Calmes.

Jurors deliberated for 12 hours Tuesday without reaching a verdict. On Wednesday, after five more hours of deliberations, the jury convicted Kevin Calmes of five out of eight counts. He was found guilty on three counts of structuring to evade, one count of failing to file proper paperwork with the IRS, and one count of money laundering.

The business, Calmes Motorsports, was found guilty of three counts of structuring to evade and one count of failure to file the proper paperwork with the IRS.

Both Kevin Calmes and the business were acquitted on the conspiracy to commit money laundering charge.

Federal agents raided Calmes Motorsports last year after a 10-year investigation into the company.

  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering
  • Money laundering
  • Failure to file required reports
  • Structuring transactions in order to evade reporting requirements

A visibly exhausted Kevin Calmes walked out of federal court on Wednesday afternoon with his head hung low.

"It's probably the longest I've ever had a jury stay out," John McLindon said.

Calmes' attorneys, John McLindon and Frank Holthaus, said they were concerned the outcome would be  a hung jury.

"It was a possibility as we went hour after hour after hour," McLindon said.

The government alleges Calmes sold motorcycles to several drug dealers over the period of a decade and set up the cash transactions in a way that would keep the law from learning about them. The defense insists the government had no proof actual drug money was used to buy the bikes.

"I was confident from the first day I met Kevin Calmes. I thought he'd be acquitted on all charges. I'm very surprised at the jury's verdict," McLindon said.

Holthaus says because some of the same allegations were made in the conspiracy charge as the others, he plans to appeal the jury's decision.

"That smells of a compromised verdict, where part of a group of a jury disagreeing gets with part of a jury that agrees and they compromise we'll give you some if you take some," Holthaus explained.

Calmes is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24.

Calmes faced up to 80 years in prison if found guilty on all counts and a $2.5 million fine. The motorcycle business itself also faces a fine of up to $3.5 million.

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