Democrats embody the “Culture of Corruption,” as Nancy Pelosi used to say, but have remained silent on the matter since for the past few years, so many of them have been placed behind bars. And on Wednesday, the first prosecution for a US Senator is taking place as Sen. Robert Menendez goes to court over $750,000 in contributions and gifts in the biggest corruption trial since ABSCAM.
Legal experts are expecting a conviction for Menendez and Dr Melgen on bribery charges. Dr Melgen has already been convicted on fraud charges related to Medicaid fraud. He has not been sentenced yet. That could mean they are waiting to see how cooperative he will be against Menendez.
A 73-year-old former Democrat state representative in Tennessee, Larry Bates, was sentenced to 21 years in prison and was ordered to repay the $21 million he and his family stole from 400 clients who lost everything they invested. Many of them testified against Bates. Bates and his family were running a Ponzi scheme using coins as the investment their clients were supposed to reap rewards from.
U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman ordered Bates, 73, to repay more than $21 million to victims. A large number of those victims were elderly Americans who lost life savings and the ability to pay for health care, prosecutors said.
The Bates family worked through First American Monetary Consultants, which had offices in Memphis and Boulder, Colorado. But they found customers from all over the country.
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Bates’ entire family will be spending time in prison for the twenty one million dollars they defrauded 400 customers out of. His sons were given 12-year sentences and his wife will have to serve a little over five years.
Bates and his family used his stature as a former Democratic lawmaker and his religious affiliation to convince Christians to invest a total of $87 million dollars with his family, who were to use the money to buy gold and silver. In most cases the investors never even received the coins they bought and paid for. Some investors were paid off using the money new investors put into the kitty.
Customers gave more than $87million to First American Monetary Consultants, a Colorado Corporation, for the purpose of buying and investing in precious metals.
Between 2002 and 2013 more than 360 victims lost more than $21million due to the illegal scheme.
By 2009, the company had more than $26 million dollars in unfilled orders.
Prosecutors said Bates and his family kept the money for their personal use, including commodities trading and a 10,000-square-foot house. They used more than four million to create the International Radio Network, a Christian radio network.
And as all good Ponzi schemes go, other costumers’ monies were used to fulfill prior orders that had not been fulfilled.
Larry Laurenzi, Acting United States Attorney said:
‘Unfortunately, fraud, corruption and embezzlement can occur everywhere, including in the investment world. People need to be mindful of this terrible fact and work hard to protect themselves and their families from those who prey on others, like the Bates family preyed on so many innocent victims.’
Bates was found guilty of all 46 counts listed in the indictment.
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