U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist faces a near-term ordeal unwelcome to anyone, particularly an ambitious politician: an official probe into his personal financial dealings by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC authorized a formal order of investigation of Frist's sale in June of HCA Inc. shares, people with direct knowledge of the inquiry said yesterday. The order allows the agency's enforcement unit to subpoena documents and compel witnesses to testify, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the order hasn't been made public.
One cinder block:
A former U.S. Defense Department analyst pleaded guilty to charges he gave classified military documents to unauthorized individuals.
Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, who worked on the Pentagon's Iran desk, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to three counts. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the most serious of the charges. The government recommended his sentencing be delayed to let him complete his cooperation in the case.
One comically large safe, precariously perched:
Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.
When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Three infected and very contagious monkeys:
Fort Lauderdale police said yesterday that they charged three men in the 2001 gangland-style slaying of a Florida businessman who was gunned down in his car months after selling a casino cruise line to a group that included Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. [...]
[Abramoff partner] Kidan has denied that the SunCruz payments to Moscatiello and Ferrari had anything to do with the slaying.
One hive, africanized bees:
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's former chief procurement official was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements and obstructing investigations into high-powered Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The five felony counts in the indictment charge David H. Safavian with obstructing Senate and executive branch investigations into whether he aided Abramoff in efforts to acquire property controlled by the General Services Administration around the nation's capital.
One crate, rotting caviar:
State Sen. Ben Stevens held a secret option to buy into an Alaska seafood company at the same time his powerful father, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, was creating a special Aleutian Islands fishery that would supply the company with pollock worth millions of dollars a year.
The pollock allocation alone was projected to provide the company with $1.5 million in profits this year and $3.7 million in 2006, the company's founder said in an affidavit in March, before problems involving the company and the availability of fish cast doubt on those numbers. Under his deal, Ben Stevens would have been entitled to one-fourth of the profits of the company, Adak Fisheries.
I apologize for not sending the rest: I'm having trouble fitting the live syphilitic rhino into the crate.
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