Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The FBI Raid on Tim Durham's Business Offices; The Feds Act While State and Local Officials Stay on the Sidelines

Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I have long complained about my fellow Republican, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi ignoring white collar crime and political corruption. Indiana, and Indianapolis in particular, is a cesspool of political corruption, influence peddling and pay-to-play politics.

We had an example of white collar crime being ignored earlier this year when participants in the James Penn mortgage fraud scheme, probably the biggest mortgage scam in the history of the state, were prosecuted - not by the Marion County Prosecutor, but by the U.S. Attorney's Office. I complained on my blog that the Marion County Prosecutor and state regulators knew about the victims of the Penn scam and failed to take any action.

Yesterday we had yet another action taken by the feds when the FBI seized files from the businesses of Indianapolis businessman Timothy Durham. Durham's business had been the subject of an investigation by the FBI which apparently raised enough red flags to warrant a search warrant to seize files from Durham's businesses. Durham is a big contributor to Brizzi's campaign (to the tune of $160,000 by some reports) as well as other Republicans, and is a close personal friend of the prosecutor.

One has to ask the obvious question whether that same evidence that led to the FBI's raid were on Brizzi's desk and whether he chose to overlook it. Certainly any criminal wrongdoing would not be confined to just federal law; there are plenty of state laws that would have also been violated. The burden though shouldn't just fall on Brizzi. There are state regulators who would have been certainly tipped off. Undoubtedly they too, like in the Penn mortgage fraud case, knew of problems and had complaints from customers of Durham's businesses. What action did they take?

While Democrats are celebrating over the possible fall of a big Republican contributor who may take some big name Republicans down with him, they shouldn't be. The problem of white collar crime and political corruption is that it is a door that swings both ways. Indianapolis does not effectively have a two party system. We have an elite group of government contractors, law firms, and political power brokers that controls local politics, regardless of which party controls the 25th floor or the council.

Hoosiers should not depend on the feds to clean up our messes. It is time for state and local officials to be more diligent in doing their jobs. White collar crime is real crime with real victims. Let's not forget that.


Downtown Indy said...

I suppose it's also fair to speculate the locals may have either provided data to or been asked to stay out of, the federal investigation.

Democrats may be celebrating, but they probably should do it quietly:

"Carson reported five donations totaling $13,200, all from political action committees outside Indiana. Elrod reported one contribution of $2,300 from GOP donor and local businessman Tim Durham.

"Durham said he traditionally gives to Republican candidates and thinks the March 11 election to fill the late Rep. Julia Carson's seat in the 7th Congressional District is "up for grabs" because there is no incumbent."

From 02/26/08

JediYoda said...

I am not one to endorse or entertain conspiracy theories, but my gut feelings tell me that Carl Brizzi successfully just put an innocent man in prison to appease the unfortunate surviving family members and to boost his image for another term in office. Was the convicted set up? His defense attorney is inclined to believe so. This act could have easily been funded by corrupt businessmen such as Tim Durham. Since when does appropriate and effective due process become defaulted by "old school methods" of investigating? DNA evidence has successfully proven that the convicted did or did not have relation to the scene of the crime. Furthermore, there was no identified weapon. Too many times are black men are tried and convicted of crimes they didn't commit. Other than this being another easy scapegoat for unsolved crimes, why must black men be disproportionately used in crime statistics? Quite frankly, I have the impression that no one really cares! Someone please answer these questions: Are shared prison stocks filling the pockets of scandalous politicians and corrupt businessmen? Is Indianapolis becoming like Los Angeles during the early 20's? Shame on you for not exercising justice appropriately and shame on the businessmen who collaborate with corrupt politicians for economic expansion! If you're Republican (like you say you are), take a conservative stand against illegal and corrupt political and economic practices.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I have always had serious doubts that Brizzi will run for a 3rd term. The county is just too democrat to run the risk of another election. Yesteday's events would seem to provide another reason not to run.

Why risk a 3rd term when you can go out on top?

Citizen Kane said...

Most of our government is no more than pretense. It's just a bunch of guys and gals (not the worker bees) who want to institute a government framework that gives people the impression that services will be rendered, however, all they want to do is the minimum - and as long as that minimum does not impact the favored class.