Archive for money laundering

Former Florida GOP chairman now sells La-Z-Boy recliners

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la z boy recliner vintageAllow me to introduce you to Jim Greer. He became the Florida GOP party head in January 2007, former governor (and recent convert to the Democratic party) Charlie Crist's personal pick.

He was one of the former Florida GOP leaders who said that voter suppression was the reason for a new election law.

He was also accused of stealing a couple of hundred thousand dollars from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. Then the Palm Beach Post reported that he was suing them back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.

But oops, the Tampa Bay Times reported that, despite his protesty indignation, Greer had been sentenced to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation after he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering.

There. Now that you know Greer better, let's see how the former GOP official has been spending his time lately. Via the Orlando Sentinel, we discover what Republican felons do post-sentencing. Talk about a career change:

Jim Greer, the disgraced former chairman of the Florida GOP, is now selling La-Z-Boy recliners for $8 an hour plus commission at an Orlando-area furniture store as part of a prison work release program. [...]

But instead of behind bars, he's now assigned to an Orlando work release facility on Mercy Drive. It has no bars and no prison-like security, although, it is fenced.

Would you buy a chair from this schmo?

And as Not-Quite-Inmate GOP Guy pockets $8 an hour plus commission (minimum wage in the state is $7.79), millions of Americans are out of work, are unable to receive unemployment benefits or a decent living wage (thanks to Greer's fellow Republican pals in Congress), and are struggling just to barely get by, get fed, and get through a day.

but wait there's more smaller

Prior to his snazzy new recliner-hawking stint, Greer pulled weeds and picked up trash for six hours a day. That and the La-Z-Boy gig should spiff his political resumé right up.

Greer's lawyer, Damon Chase, said, "He's in a really good place in life, and his family is doing great."

Too bad the same can't be said for all those law-abiding types whose families depend on them for food, shelter, clothing, warmth, and security.

Greer hasn't quite turned over the proverbial new leaf yet, though. He managed to break the rules while incarcerated for breaking the rules. See, he had a $20 bill in his possession, which is a big no-no; he wasn't supposed to have anything bigger than a $5 bill on him. Hey, no problem. They counseled him a little, and he's a new man, enjoying his "good place in life."

Maybe he could talk a few of his Republican lawmaker BFFs into making life easier for the rest of us.

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Breaking News- Texas appeals court overturns Tom DeLay money laundering conviction

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delay

Just shows that if you have enough money, time and influence you can get out of anything.

HOUSTON -– A Texas Court of Appeals in Austin has overturned the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, attorney Brian Wice tells KHOU 11 News.

DeLay, 66, was convicted in 2010 for his alleged role in a scheme to influence Texas elections.

He was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering after he was accused of helping funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

In documents released early Thursday, however, an appeals court said the evidence in the case was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions."

The court said all judgments against DeLay were reversed, and the former congressman was formally acquitted.

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Former Fla Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer sentenced to 18 months in state prison

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jim greer elvis

Jim Greer was one of the former Florida GOP leaders who said that voter suppression was the reason for new election law.

Greer was also accused of stealing a couple of hundred thou from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. The Palm Beach Post reported that he was suing them right back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.

Now the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Greer has been sentenced to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation.

It turns out that in February, he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering:

[H]e had created a company called Victory Strategies to siphon to himself and an associate some $200,000 of party donations.

"You're now a convicted felon, sir," Circuit Judge Marc Lubet told Greer Wednesday, adding that he had "egregiously violated a position of trust."

owee

Per the Times, Greer became the party head in January 2007, former governor Charlie Crist's personal pick. Yes, that former governor Charlie Crist, the one who may run again, but this time as a Democrat. In fact, Crist tried hard to convince us he really is a real Democrat. Not that I wouldn't support him if he ended up being the Democratic candidate, but my heart sure wouldn't be in it.

But I digress.

I particularly liked these sentences describing Greer's past:

He was a regular at strip clubs and bars. Both his weddings were lavish. He ...quickly worked to make friends with people he identified as politically valuable... [H]is gatherings typically had some of the area's best snacks and booze. He often dressed as Elvis and belted out songs by the King... He wanted people to call him Chairman. He wanted to drink bourbon only from bottles with personalized labels.

Jim, you sound like a real attractive guy:

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Hedge Fund Billionaires Lower Taxes by Sending Cash on a Bermuda Vacation

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chart vulture income disparity inequality smaller

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Bloomberg Businessweek (ironically owned by politician plutocrat and defender of the oligarchy Michael Bloomberg) just reported that "a hedge fund tax dodge uses Bermuda reinsurers" ... But the Bermuda based "reinsurers" are sometimes just little more than mail drops that serve as a vehicle for tax-evasion money laundering, with little concern being expressed by the IRS. [...]

Referring to three gluttonously wealthy hedge fund managers, Bloomberg Businessweek reveals:

The companies set up by Paulson, Cohen, and Loeb are all located within a half-mile of each other in the narrow streets of Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital and the global center of the reinsurance industry. The three put a combined $1.7 billion back into the fund managers’ hands last year.

Even the Murdoch-owned tabloid The New York Post jumped on the legalized theft from the public purse of this scheme...

Billionaire hedge-fund moguls are getting comfortable with a US tax loophole to fatten their already plump bottom lines. [...]

Hedgies like John Paulson and Steve Cohen are forming reinsurance companies in tax-free havens like Bermuda or the Cayman Islands — and then transferring cash from their funds to the reinsurance companies.

The cash, classified as insurance company reserves, is then transferred back into the funds as reserves to be invested for future claims.

Thanks to an IRS loophole, profits from these insurance companies aren’t taxed — until the stake in the fund is sold, and that could be years down the line.

And here’s the kicker: The taxes, when paid, are at the lower capital-gains rate and not as ordinary income. [...]

The more the rich get richer, the more they get a free pass from legal oversight.

Please read the entire post here.

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Even Dancing with the Stars couldn't keep Tom DeLay from prison

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delay

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

You can't get anymore joyful than hearing that Tom DeLay, a firm believer in the health benefits of Dioxin and last seen publicly shimmying his booty in satin bolero pants on "Dancing with the Stars," has just been sentenced to three years in prison. As The Huffington Post reports:

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, once considered among the nation's most powerful and feared lawmakers, was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for a scheme to influence elections that already cost him his job, leadership post and millions of dollars in legal fees.

The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay, a Houston-area Republican, on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for using a political action committee to illegally send corporate donations to Texas House candidates in 2002.

[...]

I recall an aide of DeLay being quoted as saying that (paraphrased) "You don't just kick a Democrat when he's down, you roll him in a carpet and toss him over the cliff."  That was how DeLay played: down, mean, merciless, dirty, and well-oiled with "K Street Project" money.  The former Texas bug exterminator (we are not making this up) could bite a copperhead snake's head off and swallow it down with a martini.

More here.

tom delay dancing with the stars

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VIDEO: Powerful GOP Congressman could end up behind bars for campaign finance violations, money laundering, witness tampering

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Another Republican driven by money and power ends up in hot water. Surprise! Imagine that, a member of the GOP caring more about himself than the people he represents. This time it's Florida millionaire Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan who happens to be in charge of fundraising for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and sits on the powerful House Ways and Means committee, too. 

Not for long:

(CNN)--  Federal investigations underway could result in Buchanan serving his next term behind bars.

CNN has confirmed there are no fewer than four congressional and federal investigations into Buchanan's business practices, his campaign finances and his alleged attempt to try to stop a witness from talking. [...]

Buchanan's former business partner says the congressman schemed to launder money from his car dealerships into his campaign coffers, and then tried to get others to cover it up.

But here's the, ahem, "money" quote, if you will:

People who never gave money to campaigns were suddenly writing big checks to Buchanan for Congress and, according to Kazran, getting reimbursed from the dealership. It added up to almost $70,000 at Kazran's dealership alone, he said.

"I remember one of the partners jokingly saying, 'Boss, you have all the money in the world. Why do you want us to pay you the money?' And he said, 'Well, it doesn't look good if it's coming from me.'"   

Psst! "Boss"... it doesn't look too good now, does it?

"Run it through the corporation." "Sign a statement that was a lie." "Shroud of secrecy." What a guy. And he's the RCCC fundraiser-in-chief. The GOP sure can pick 'em.

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Top Donor Pleads Guilty to Money-Laundering Scheme to Aid Governor Walker

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John Nichols is reporting a scandal in FitzWalkerstan.

All aboard!

[Wisconsin & Southern railroad corporation] company president Bill Gardner has long been one of the state's busiest campaign contributors -- to Democrats and Republicans -- or that, last year, Gardner went to the mat to back his old pal Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign. [...]

He raised tens of thousands for Walker. In addition to his own substantial contributions, his employees and family members coughed up a stack of checks for $5,000 each.

It now turns out that the money was given illegally.

It also turns out that Gardner will plead guilty to two felony counts stemming from a money-laundering scheme that he initiated on Walker's behalf.

That's the "single largest forfeiture ever paid to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) or to either of its predecessor agencies, the State Elections Board or the State Ethics Board," says GAB director Kevin Kennedy.

I'm beginning to think that if anyone so much as stands too close to Scott Walker, they will be affected by scumbag rays.

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