Thursday, September 4, 2008

A case of changing laws

In a recent story reported by the Houston Chronicle, U.S. Representative Tom DeLay and two others were absolved of their money laundering charges. The law that absolved them was passed eight months after their original indictment. The law was also authored by a representative who received some of the money.

In 2002, John Colyandro, James Ellis and DeLay, were all involved with a check for $190,000 that was sent to Republican National State Elections Committee in Washington. A large amount of the check, $100,000, was money given to a government official by a corporation, which is illegal. A few months later, Representative Larry Taylor received a check for $20,000 for the national committee. He then went on to author the bill relating to insurance fraud, which included a paragraph dealing with money laundering.

However, Taylor claims the bill had nothing to do with the three who were released from their money laundering charges:

"We were working on insurance fraud, and we had prosecutors from all over the state wanting us to help them. They said we also have another issue we have trouble prosecuting. In this electronic age, the drug smugglers are not just using cash. They said they weren't able to prosecute money laundering under the old statute."

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