Friday, December 04, 2009

Give The Money To The Victims

Two wrongs don't make a right. If politicians have received political contributions from businessman Tim Durham that prove to be the result of ill-gotten gains, they should not be donating those contributions to charities but to the victims. In every Ponzi scheme there are victims. In this case, they are mostly working class people in the small towns of Ohio who invested their money based on their faith in a company that had been around since the Great Depression thinking their investment was safe. That's my recommendation to Matt Tully's column today asking for suggestions on what charity politicians should consider donating the contributions they received from Durham. Don't give your money to a charity. Donate it to a victim's compensation fund.

Tully also raises serious concerns about Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi's failure to address publicly his financial relationship with Durham:

Meanwhile, shouldn't Marion County residents be annoyed that Brizzi has not laid out in detail his relationship with Durham? The answer is yes. Every financial connection should be outlined. The extent of the personal relationship should be detailed. We know about the yacht parties and Super Bowl trips, but Marion County's top law enforcement official needs to be much more open about the relationship.
If Brizzi really wanted to clear the air, he could begin by disclosing every single tax return he has filed for the past seven years. If we had an ethics law that was worth a damn, we would already require this of our elected prosecutors and other key officials to help keep them straight. After all, shouldn't we know who is putting money in the pocket of the guy who decides who gets prosecuted and who walks? I'm betting Brizzi won't do it. He should at least discuss the facts surrounding the purchase of his stock in CLST. That should prove interesting.

Speaking of Brizzi's problems, the Indiana Supreme Court may want to add to its current investigation of prosecutorial misconduct on Brizzi's part. The Indianapolis Times blog reports that Brizzi has servied as campaign chairman of Judge Robert Altice's campaign committee. [Update: Fellow blogger Paul Ogden tells me Brizzi no longer serves as Altice's campaign manager and ended that role before becoming prosecutor. The Indianapolis Times blog is published by Terry Burns, a Democrat who works in the Clerk's office where the campaign records are maintained. He incorrectly reported that Brizzi still served as his campaign chairman. He subsequently removed the posted information on his blog without explanation] [He took the criticism to heart and now explains his error here.] Judge Altice would be the same judge who presided over the highly-publicized trial of Desmond Turner, the man convicted of executing seven family members on Hamilton Avenue. Brizzi personally prosecuted that bench trial case. I can't imagine that Turner's attorneys would not have asked Judge Altice to recuse himself if they knew of Brizzi's relationship relationship with Altice as a former campaign chairman, but then again, I couldn't understand why they gave up Turner's constitutional right to a trial by a jury either.

UPDATE: Ohio regulators are asking for more answers from Durham and Fair Finance in connection with its latest proposed $250 million securities offering according to the Star's John Russell. "If the loans receivable and intercompany note receivable assets shown on the issuer's balance sheet are secure, collateralized and capable of servicing outstanding debt, the issuer should have no problem producing the relevant documentation," said the seven-page letter sent by the Ohio Department of Commerce.


Cato said...


It's a shame that this needs to be said. It's nigh fraud to do otherwise.

Paul K. Ogden said...

As I've said on my blog, they should have disclosed that, particularly Brizzi. That alone can be an ethics charge not to mention grounds to reverse the conviction.

Paul K. Ogden said...

In a day and age in which all these nonprofits claim to be charities and they are paying their officers and employees lavish salaries, sometimes in the six figures, I agree that the money should go to the VICTIMS not "charities."

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Well, you know...Chicago isn't THAT far away.

Cato said...


This not-for-profit makes all others look like pikers:

Erich said...

There is no requirement as to what portion of a non profit's spending has to be on doing useful things, versus say administrative costs.

Simple advice, never give to a paid telemarketer.

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