Stanford Spent Millions to Lobby Congress

$8B scammer's island junkets helped push anti-tax agenda
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 18, 2009 10:39 AM CST
Antigua residents at the headquarters of the Bank of Antigua, owned by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, are seen in St. John's, Antigua, Tuesday, Feb. 17. 2009.    (AP Photo/Johnny Jno-Baptiste)
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(Newser) – Billionaire R. Allen Stanford has spent millions of dollars in attempting to enlist high-powered Washington officials in his anti-tax efforts, reports the Wall Street Journal. Stanford’s investment companies spent over $5 million on lobbying, $2 million on campaign contributions, and thousands more on flying members of Congress to the Caribbean, where Stanford lives. Many of the legislators do have longstanding interests in the region and have reimbursed him.

One of Stanford’s main beneficiaries, Charles Rangel of New York, recently wrote legislation favorable to Stanford’s tax interests. Says another New York Democrat, Gregory Meeks, “I have no idea what the investigation is about, but if I was asked about Allen Stanford I would say that he was a guy who was wealthy but he was also helping people.”