Skip to comments.The Entrapment of Eliot
Posted on 03/16/2008 2:30:48 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The federal criminal investigation that has led to Eliot Spitzer's resignation as governor of New York illustrates the great dangers all Americans face from vague and open-ended sex and money-transaction statutes.
Federal law, if read broadly, criminalizes virtually all sexual encounters for which something of value has been given. Federal money-laundering statutes criminalize many entirely legitimate and conventional banking transactions. Congress enacted these laws to give federal prosecutors wide discretion in deciding which "bad guys" to go after.
Generally, wise and intelligent prosecutors use their discretion properly -- to target organized crime, terrorism, financial predation, exploitation of children and the like. But the very existence of these selectively enforced statutes poses grave dangers of abuse. They lie around like loaded guns waiting to be used against the enemies of politically motivated investigators, prosecutors and politicians.
There is no hard evidence that Eliot Spitzer was targeted for investigation, but the story of how he was caught does not ring entirely true to many experienced former prosecutors and current criminal lawyers. The New York Times reported that the revelations began with a routine tax inquiry by revenue agents "conducting a routine examination of suspicious financial transactions reported to them by banks." This investigation allegedly found "several unusual movements of cash involving the Governor of New York." But the movement of the amounts of cash required to pay prostitutes, even high-priced prostitutes over a long period of time, does not commonly generate a full-scale investigation.
We are talking about thousands, not millions, of dollars. We are also talking about a man who is a multimillionaire with numerous investments and purchases. The idea that federal investigators would focus on a few transactions to corporations -- that were not themselves under investigation -- raises as many questions as answers.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Spitzer raised suspicion by asking the bank to take his name off the transactions.
She still is but in these days of a bad economy, Americans have more money than brains.
No question about it. In fact, the bank was probably internally questioning long before he asked. Structuring transactions to avoid cash transactions from being reviewed gets those type of transactions looked into even further.
Gee, out of the woodwork come these cockroaches like Dershowitz. Who would have thought? He and his ilk have ruined law, society, and morality. Now he complains?
My reading of this is that spitzer went after the wrong persons and they exacted revenge. There’s power out there we are not aware of.
I'm not one to go shopping much, practically not at all except occasionally for clothing, so I had no idea about what Americans spend their money on in the malls. After going shopping with my wife over the last couple of weeks, I am APPALLED at the TRASH that people buy, probably on credit.
One of the ones that strikes me the most odd (apologies in advance to all of you who like this stuff) is Swarovsky crystal. To me, that stuff just screams "trailer park just hit the lotto". Again, sorry if you like it and I'm wrong.
Sonny says there will be snow followed by drizzle...snizzle. Spitzer says there will be hoes followed by jail...hail.
Meaning they don't usually go after rich white guys.
Yes of course spitzer was “forced” to demand a bareback ride with his whore. How foolish of me to forget that. Thank you Alan.
And as far as Spitzer goes...live by the sword, etc.
“There was no hard evidence....” Yeah - she took care of THAT! LOL.
We're talking about the Governor of New York, not Joe Schmoe from Kokomo. Of course he would have a higher level of scrutiny.
This is why he wanted to resign as soon as the story broke. He never showed mercy so he knew he would receive none.
I think Spitzer deserved it but Alan’s comments are correct.
Let’s let Spitzer’s hypocrisy stand but also recognize that the statutes need to change.
This allows me to plug an excellent movie, Reversal of Fortune, about the case. Dershowitz is brilliantly played by the estimable Ron Silver. I need to see it again to see if Spitzer's character is in it.
I used to do anti-money laundering. There is a rules engine that alerts based upon any number of factors. I am unsure of what triggered this alert but a lot of cash moving across several accounts would probably be a trigger. Once you flag, it moves to the next level, and then the next level, etc.
He got snagged by laws that were not designed to snag him. Alan is right in this case and it should have been discretionary.
All in all, I guess I have to accept the fact that I may be just too old to appreciate youthful indulgence anymore. As a retiree, give me a fifteen year old pickup truck and a fifty year old Ford tractor (paid for in cash) and shopping malls offer me little of interest.
Right on bro. I simply am incapable of “shopping”. However my own Ford is only 47 years old. But my Farmall is 59.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.