Doesn’t Donald Trump seem like he could play a bad-guy boss on a television show? With his gravelly voice, expensive suits, and rough language, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine Trump sitting in a gold-encrusted room with hit men all around him, waiting for the next order. So, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that his money man really is one of those bad guys.
Los Angeles venture capitalist Elliott Broidy is one of a half-dozen vice-chairs of the “Trump Victory Leadership Team,” with which the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have joined efforts to do political fundraisers. Unfortunately, Broidy is a criminal.
In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to criminal charges regarding top New York State officials bribes. It seems the venture capitalist gave almost $1 million in bribes, consisting of gifts and favors, as part of a scheme to win more than $250 million in state pension investments for the venture capital firm Markstone Capital, which he headed at the time.
Broidy decided to plead guilty to rewarding state official misconduct, which is a felony charge with a four-year-prison term. In a plea agreement, his lawyers got the charge downgraded so that he was only guilty of a misdemeanor with no prison time, as long as he cooperated with the state during this investigation. As a result, investigators convicted former New York state comptroller Alan G. Hevesi in 2010.
‘This is an old-fashioned payoff of state officials. [Broidy] Paid nearly a million dollars in bribes to get a quarter-billion-dollar investment.’
That million dollars in bribes covered a wide range of surprising payoffs, according to Yahoo News:
‘…first-class airfare and luxury hotel bills for trips in Israel and Italy, sham consulting fees and rent payments for one state official’s girlfriend.’
Another “improper payment” was investing $300,000 in a low-budget independent movie produced by “the brother of Hevesi’s chief of staff.” The brother placed the obscure flick in Queens and Mexico and named it “Chooch.”
Broidy had a solid-gold resume before this happened, leaving many in the Jewish community and in the financial world shaken because he had been such a pillar in these communities.
Ironically, a top Democratic money man, New York investment manager Steve Rattner, who recently held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, was also involved in the same “pay for play” scandal. The court fined Rattner $10 million to settle civil charges in 2010. Part of that agreement was that he did not have to admit any wrongdoing.
RNC communications director Sean Spicer dismissed questions about Broidy’s background, pointing out that they released a press release about his appointment. On the other hand, Clinton’s campaign let the $100,000-per-head party in Rattner’s Manhattan home to support the former Secretary of State’s campaign go practically unnoticed.
Spicer said the RNC knew all about Broidy’s history:
‘We knew about this. We didn’t try to hide anything. … I think there’s a point at which somebody has paid their debt to society.’
The RNC’s big-dollar money men include former finance chair Lewis Eisenberg and the owner of the New York Jets Wood Johnson. Trump said of the group:
‘This is an impressive leadership team composed of talented individuals working together to unite the party and win what will be the most important election of our lifetime.’
Time will tell, and as the old saying goes, time is money.
H/T: Yahoo News