“Rabbi” Shawn Rice

I had heard about the shenanigans of “Rabbi” Shawn Rice long before I met him in early 2000 in Phoenix, on a trip to confer with parties involved in the J. W. Zidar criminal investigation. Both Zidar and Rice represented to me that Rice, considered to practically be Zidar’s son, was in charge of security for the Zidar organization, including computer security. He was also "overseer" for one of Zidar's companies. One evening during a meeting of Zidar supporters in one of their homes, Rice stated that he had been served with a grand jury subpoena to appear before a Seattle federal grand jury in the next day or two, and he showed me a computer disc with most (if not all) of the financial information relating to the operation of that organization. He claimed that “hell would freeze over” before he gave to the grand jury the items sought by the subpoena.

I ultimately represented six other parties who were targets of the Seattle grand jury investigating Zidar’s organization. On a trip to Seattle for their grand jury appearances, I waited outside the grand jury room along with a large number of people subpoenaed to that grand jury (lawyers for witnesses before a grand jury typically sit outside a grand jury room when clients testify before it to be available to consult with their clients). There, I learned that Zidar and others had “raised” about 75 million bux from its various “member-investors”. I had originally wanted to determine that there was at least 1 bux more in assets in that organization than had been raised from the investors in order to demonstrate that the Zidar organization was not a “Ponzi” scheme. I learned that was impossible as the organization had less than 15 million bux in assets compared to liabilities exceeding 75 million.  This was a typical “Ponzi.”

In passing, I must note that my clients, who worked in Zidar’s central office, did not get indicted, nor were they called as witnesses at Zidar’s trial. Rice also did not contest giving the grand jury the documents and computer information it wanted, and simply turned that information over.  

Rice did not get indicted in the Zidar case, but he did get scrutiny from investigators. Eventually, the good “rabbi” was convinced to “wash” lots of cash which got him indicted, along with Sam Davis, for money laundering and conspiracy. For a while, Rice was on the run before he was arrested. After he was arrested, he filed numerous motions raising popular but baseless arguments. See Doc. 61 and Doc. 115.  Rice file about 40 different motions and if you wish to read them, go to Pacer and pull up his case. These motions raising popular arguments were denied. He went to trial, was convicted, and ultimately sentenced to serve 63 months.