BOSTON — A prominent Boston defense attorney is denying charges that he laundered more than $225,000 in drug money.

Robert George made a brief initial appearance in federal court Wednesday and was later released on $50,000 unsecured bond. His attorney, Rosemary Scapicchio, says George has had an "impeccable" record during three decades as an attorney and says federal agents set him up.

George's high-profile clients include organized crime figures Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme and John Martorano. He also represented Christopher McCowen, a trash collector convicted the murder of fashion writer Christa Worthington on Cape Cod.

The 56-year-old George was arrested early Wednesday at his Westwood home by federal drug enforcement agents.

Prosecutors say he knowingly helped conceal that the cash was drug proceeds.