Monday, February 25, 2008

Analyzing Rep. Renzi's Indictment

The indictment of Rep. Richard G. Renzi is 26 pages in length and has 35 counts.  There are two co-defendants also charged, although these two do not face all the charges levied against Renzi.

The opening passages of the Indictment are descriptive and include items such as the location of his law degree, something his law school may not be too happy about. This is interesting in itself as it shows that he graduated in 2001 and was elected to the house in November 2002, although he has an extensive background in Renzi Investments, since 1995, something that is also discussed in this charging document.

Count One charges conspiracy, with the substantive acts of Hobbs and mail and wire fraud being the essence of the illegal agreement. The government, despite recent losses in the honest services realm, uses section 1346 as an unlawful act which formed the conspiracy. There are 28 overt acts specifically outlined in the indictment.  Although the overt acts appear to be many, they could easily be collapsed into relatively few items as they include separate counts for when a check is written and when it is deposited.

Counts Two - Ten charge honest services wire fraud. They are the substantive acts and are very much repetitive of what was described in the conspiracy count.  Thus, the fax of July 6th appears in both places. This is not unusual as the federal system allows the government to charge both the conspiracy and substantive act for the same conduct.

Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit money laundering with count twelve being the concealment of money laundering, and counts thirteen to twenty-five being transactions in criminally derived funds.

Counts Twenty-Six and Twenty-Seven present Hobbs Act charges.

Counts Twenty-Eight, yet another conspiracy count, presents a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Counts Twenty-Nine through Thirty-Two are the substantive charges of insurance fraud.

Count Thirty-Three through Thirty-Five pertain to false statements to influence insurance regulatory investigations.

The Indictment then presents a claim for forfeiture.

This indictment, like so many, is a classic example of the discretion afforded the government in charging in that many different statutes will often fit the conduct alleged to have been committed. As one finds in many cases, the government uses a good number of the tools in its box when presenting the charges. This is contrasted against cases where there has been an agreement already reached and the government may use an Information to charge one or just a few counts.

(esp)

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