May 15, 2013
Congressman Vern Buchanan – under investigation by the IRS – to investigate IRS
To help lead the investigation into the IRS, Republicans have tapped former used car salesman Congressman Vern Buchanan, despite the fact that Congressman Buchanan is allegedly under investigation himself by the IRS for tax fraud and “financial improprieties.”
According to Congressman Buchanan’s former Chief Financial officer, Congressman Buchanan is still facing an IRS investigation resulting from Congressman Buchanan’s “financial Ponzi scheme where he took money of one dealership to invest in another dealership to invest in another dealership." In a taped deposition, Congressman Buchanan’s CFO also testified that Congressman Buchanan is guilty of additional federal crimes including mail fraud, bank fraud and racketeering.
Congressman Buchanan currently sits on the House Ways and Means Committee which is conducting a review of the IRS scandal.
“The IRS investigation into Congressman Buchanan’s history of financial scandals and potential tax fraud make it impossible for Congressman Buchanan to conduct the type of impartial and rigorous investigation which both Republicans and Democrats have demanded,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Congressional Committee. “In light of his ongoing financial scandals and his alleged tax fraud, Congressman Buchanan should excuse himself from this investigation in order to preserve the integrity of the committee’s findings. “
Former Business Partner Alleged That Congressman Buchanan Took Illegal Deductions, Avoided Taxes, and was “Essentially Operating a Financial Ponzi Scheme.” “Allegations against Buchanan have been surfacing for years prompting all those investigations, but now through documents and testimony provided to the Internal Revenue Service, if they are true, raise questions about the Sarasota congressman […] Rosa, who is testifying in a lawsuit involving a former Buchanan partner, says the congressman had bigger problems: he illegally reimbursed employees who contributed to his campaign as well as illegally took business deductions for his airplane and avoided paying taxes he owed on his yacht […] Rosa says he told the IRS, ‘Vern was essentially operating a financial Ponzi scheme where he took money of one dealership to invest in another dealership to invest in another dealership.’” [WTSP, 2/18/13]
In Suit With Former Business Partner, Congressman Buchanan’s Finances Could Be “Open to Much More Scrutiny Than Ever Before.” “Sarasota Congressman Vern Buchanan, who has survived allegations of ethics and election violations, has lost a round in court. Buchanan has been in litigation with his former partner Sam Kazran since 2008. During the suit witnesses have sworn the Congressman has illegally funneled money for campaign contributions through his business and has been guilty of tax evasion and tax fraud. Stock says the ruling will open up the Congressman’s financial records deeper than ever before […] According to Robert Stock, the attorney for Buchanan’s ex-partner, that means he will be able to look at all of Buchanan’s financial records, including off shore accounts […] The two sides in this five year dispute have very different views on what the ruling means, but it could leave the Sarasota’s Congressman’s finances open to much more scrutiny than ever before.” [WTSP, 4/11/13 ]
CNN: Congressman Buchanan could be “serving his next term behind bars.” “But all that could be jeopardized. Federal investigations underway could result in Buchanan serving his next term behind bars. CNN has confirmed there are no fewer than four congressional and federal investigations into Buchanan's business practices, his campaign finances and his alleged attempt to try to stop a witness from talking.” [CNN, 06/23/12]
House Ethics Investigating Congressman Buchanan for Potential Violations of Federal Bribery, Obstruction, and Witness Tampering Laws. “The report asks the Ethics Committee to consider whether Buchanan violated federal bribery, obstruction and witness tampering laws -- all of which have criminal penalties. It also says there's ‘substantial reason to believe’ Buchanan violated House rules of conduct requiring members behave at all times ‘in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.’ […] The Office of Congressional Ethics report also notes that they were ‘unable to discuss with Representative Buchanan his involvement, if any, with directing reimbursements of campaign contributions because he refused to cooperate with the OCE Review.’” [Bradenton Herald, 5/09/12]