Firm Behind Richardson Flap Has Pay-to-Play History

Financial adviser is under investigation, mired in lawsuits
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2009 11:47 AM CST
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, listens during a news conference in Chicago. Richardson says he is withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama's commerce secretary.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – CDR, the Beverly Hills financial firm at the center of the pay-for-play scandal investigation that's snagged New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, is no stranger to the inside of a courtroom. It's being targeted by the SEC, the IRS, and the Department of Justice, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company, which specializes in investing funds for municipalities, is also being sued by about 20 municipalities, counties, and school districts.

CDR’s stated method of profit is helping government entities invest bond money before they need to use it. But the firm’s name has surfaced in scandals ranging from the bribery indictment of a city treasurer in Philadelphia to an alleged financial bid-rigging scheme that prompted the city of Los Angeles to litigate. The counties of Fresno, San Mateo, Contra Costa, San Diego, and Alameda are also suing CDR.