Allen Stanford’s links to lawmakers

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Feds probe financier Allen Stanford's links to lawmakers | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle.

Good investigative journalism on display here - well worth the read. But the message is this:

The Justice Department is investigating millions of dollars Allen Stanford and his staff contributed to lawmakers over the past decade to determine if the banker received special favors from politicians while building his spectacular offshore bank in Antigua.

Records show Stanford also doled out $5 million on lobbying since 2001, setting up his own Washington firm last year with expensive furnishings and artwork — the money plundered from his customers' accounts.

Over the years, he took on battles to protect his banking network while fending off regulators.

In 2001, he pressed successfully to kill a bill that would have exposed the flow of millions into his secretive offshore bank in Antigua.

The next year, he helped block legislation that would have drawn more government scrutiny to his bank.

[W]hen a bill was created to compel offshore bankers to reveal the sources of money flowing into their banks, Stanford jumped into the fight to kill it.

The measure would have forced Stanford — who was moving millions illegally through his Miami trust office — to open his books to federal regulators.

“He wanted the complete freedom to move money offshore without any threat,” said Jack Blum, a lawyer who testified before Congress supporting the legislation. “He was cheerleading for the offshore tax havens.”

Please don't tell me legislatures aren't captured by corrupt offshore money. The evidence is that they can be.