Judge grants bond for 3 accused of money laundering tied to attacks on public safety training center

A judge granted bond for three people arrested during a raid. The group Stop Cop City says the trio is known for bailing out protesters.

They are accused of funding violent attacks at Atlanta’s future Public Safety Training Center.

The judge said Friday he didn’t think the allegations were serious enough for the three to remain in jail before their trial begins.

The state said they plan to prove how the organization was funneling money to what law enforcement describes as an extremist organization.

It’s a lack of compelling evidence Judge James Altman said was the reasoning to grant the three people with bond. accused of financial crimes bond.

“It’s not a lot of meat on the bones,” Altman told the court. “I don’t find it real impressive.”

Marlon Kautz, Adele McClean and Savannah Patterson were arrested Wednesday, charged with money laundering and charity crimes on allegations they mislead donors by using money collected for the Network for Strong Communities.


State prosecutor John Fowler said they plan to prove those funds were being funneled to the Forest Justice Defense Fund--- an organization that’s on the federal list of domestic violence extremist groups.

Warrants accuse all three of reimbursing themselves for various expenses for material allegedly given to those who participated in recent protests.

“$37.11 to build yard signs? What could be more First Amendment activities than getting materials to build yard signs?” attorney Don Samuels said, who represents the three.

“What we discovered over a lengthy investigation, these defendant harbor extremist antigovernment and antiestablishment views and not all the money goes to where they say it goes to,” Fowler said.

In 2020 and 2021, tax records for the Network for Strong Communities show the 501 (c)(3) organization calculated more than $3 million dollars in total assets. The organization was formed in 2020.

Records from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office list McClean as the CEO, Kautz and the CFO and Patterson performing the role of secretary.

“It’s unclear what these illegitimate reasons are, buying food, paying for people’s bonds,” Samuels said. “The fact that you’re helping some people do bad things doesn’t mean you’re joining in on a conspiracy with them.”

Some of the bond conditions for the three included staying away from the training facility site and to cease activity with the Forest Defense Fund.

The attorney representing all three said they’re expected to bond out sometime on Saturday.