GOP Rep. Rick Renzi (Ariz.) has been indicted on charges of fraud in questionable land deals as well as money laundering. The former member of the House Intelligence Committee faces a very stiff challenge given the specificity of this indictment.
Renzi faces charges oof conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, concealment of money laundering, transactions with criminally derived funds, extortion, insurance fraud and criminal forfeiture.
It was well-known that these charges were coming.
Also named in the indictment is business associate James Sandlin and a Maryland attorney named Andrew Beardall. Renzi’s father who died last year was also involved in the questionable dealings.
The indictment centers on land deals in Arizona and allegations that he used his influence on the House Natural Resources Committee influence the transactions. The alleged transactions get rather complex. Sandlin, it appears, owed Renzi $800,000 and Renzi allegedly needed the money. After the transaction wtih the “Investment Group B” went through, Sandlin paid Renzi $733,000. Various accounts were used to handle the money transfer — raising questions of concealment. (The money was never reported by Renzi on his financial disclosure forms). It is rather hard to overlook almost a million dollars and this may make for a tough jury case for the defense.
The prosecutors threw the book at him with charges ranging from conspiracy to insurance fraud. For a copy of the indictment, click here