The U.S. government is having a record year collecting big fines from companies. Part of that success comes from a Civil War era law that rewards whistle-blowers for exposing corporate fraud.
Former Congressman Rick Renzi Sentenced On Federal Convictions
Former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi has been sentenced to three years in prison. The Republican will serve time for convictions on public corruption, money laundering and other charges.
Renzi represented Arizona’s first congressional district from 2003 to 2009. He decided not to run for reelection in 2008 when he was indicted on 32 federal charges after he embezzled money from his family’s insurance business and tried to orchestrate an illegal land swap. In June, a federal jury in Tucson convicted him on 17 counts.
Melanie Sloan is director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She said Renzi should have received a tougher sentence.
"The charges against Mr. Renzi were very serious. He abused his position to try and force a corporation to buy land to allow himself to personally profit. Any time a member of congress uses his position to profit for personal gain, that’s a serious breach of the public trust,” said Sloan.
Renzi is expected to appeal. He has been allowed to remain free until Jan. 6 when he must report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.