Wednesday, March 12, 2008

U. S. Attorney says no deal with Spitzer

From a story reporting NY Governor Eliot Spitzer’s announcement he will resign his office:

… There were rumors that Spitzer had negotiated a plea deal to avoid jail time in the case, but U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia squashed those rumors. "There is no agreement between this Office and Gov. Eliot Spitzer, relating to his resignation or any other matter," he said in a statement to CBS 2….
I posted last evening concerning possible criminal charges Spitzer is likely to face: A Spitzer target letter.

Also, yesterday I posted on the Raleigh News & Observer’s very incomplete reporting on the Spitzer scandal, including the N&O’s failure to report how and why the IRS and federal prosecutors first caught on to the liberal Democrat Spitzer’s activities which may soon lead to his indictment on federal criminal charges relating to financial transactions.

I linked within that post to a NY Times story that did report on that. Go to the post here and then scroll down until you come to the section detailing and linking to the NYT’s story.

First thoughts:

I was glad to hear the feds had not cut a deal with Spitzer. This scandal is in its first stages. I have no doubt there’s a great deal more Spitzer’s done the feds very likely don’t know about.

Something else: Yes, this scandal involves a governor who hired a prostitute and thereby set himself up as a potential blackmail victim. That’s a very serious matter

But what I think is even more serious is Spitzer’s repeated, public and blatant abuses of his office. They need to be fully investigated with an eye toward prosecution where warranted.

More soon.

What do you think?

Today’s story is here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks John

First, I am glad there is no deal and that this railroader is soon to be in a position absent any authority over others. The rest of my comment goes a bit O/T.

I find it very ironic that a regulation said to have been put in place as "one of the government’s main weapons in the battle against money laundering and other financial crimes" is what started this mess for a person who has abused and stretched laws and regulations to promote his own career. All he did was take cash out of an ATM, cash that was his!! (search for "FinCEN Form 109" and/or "Suspicious Activity Report by Money Services Business").

The IRS says that reporting transactions must be done if the bank suspects (among many other reasons) " known... apparent lawful purpose". I'm not sure what Eliot did that is suspicious beyond evidently getting more than $2,000 cash out of an ATM and/or having wired more than $5,000 from one account to another. I have to laugh again here knowing these are the exact same type of records he'd tried to use in past cases.

Without searching to verify what brought the regulations about which allows the reporting that led to this situation Spitzer faced, I suspect we all sign some agreement when opening a bank account that allows the bank to report transactions (though I'd guess >99% are legal). Our trustworthy lawmakers have not eliminated our rights, simply put regulations in place that allow us to waive them so that we can trust a banking institute to hold our money for us, and then report us when we want it back in a manner that is most likely legal.

The good thing is that I'm sure we all have the right to prove our innocence if this reporting makes the authorities come after us. I may start burying my money in a tin can out back!


Anonymous said...

John -

First, I agree with most of what kbp said. I would add yet another insidious law to kbp's list, it is RICO. It was meant to be used against the Maifa but it has ended up being (ab)used against lots of non-Mafia individuals, e.g., against Michalel Milken (by Giuliani) in the 1980s, and just recently against Michael Vick, where just the threat that it would be used (in what was essential an infraction of a state law) got him to plea bargain rather than go to trial.

Second - I am glad to see Spitzer come down like this. He has been bully as AG of New York (AG sometimes means Aspiring Governor), and he has brought much harm to financial markets, and to several corporations in particular (AIG and Marsh Company come to mind). I find it hard to believe that there are people out there who thought he was presidential material.

Jack in Silver Spring