Renzi Indicted!

Congressman Rick Renzi has been indicted on charges of wire fraud, extortion, money laundering and other charges according to a 26-page indictment opened this morning. The indictment involves a land-swap transaction here in Arizona in which Renzi and two former business partners promoted the sale of land that could be swapped for land owned by the Federal government.

What makes this especially personal and upsetting to this blogger is that one of the business entities referred to in the indictment, provides insurance to crisis pregnancy centers and right to life organizations across the country.

According to the Arizona Republic, “Other counts charge that Renzi and another business associate, Andrew Beardall, 36, of Maryland, violated federal insurance laws by embezzling more than $400,000 in insurance premiums from a trust account of the Patriot Insurance Agency Inc. to fund Renzi’s congressional campaign in 2001 and 2002. The Renzi family owns the Santa Cruz County business.”


  1. “For several weeks, I have been the subject of leaked stories, conjecture, and false attacks about a land exchange. None of them bear any resemblance to the truth, including the rumor that I am planning on resigning.” – Rick Renzi, 10 months ago

    “Oh Lord, please make my words gentle and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.”
    – Morris K. Udall.

  2. Thanks for extra seat Rick!

  3. Reading the indictment, the land deal, while wrong, was just a means to get Sandlin to pay him the money he’d agreed to pay him. Conversion of client’s premiums, yeah, that’s the one that really has the stinkiness, no matter who the guys clients were.

    This is such a shame. It was probably a good thing for the San Pedro to get the alfalfa farm off of the aquifer. I read some time ago that it was the top single user of water before it went fallow. The $4.6M paid for the land, when viewed as what the cost to Cochise County economy of lost business if the Fort were to close or some other water shortage caused economic bust, is a drop in the bucket. I think folks in Cochise had pondered buying the land just for the reason cutting the water use but couldn’t get the money together. Probably with disclosure and recusal, there would have been a way to do this. It’s always in the cover up where things go from bad to worse. On face value, the land swap may have had some legitimacy. But with no disclosure, the fair market value (“willing buyer, willing seller, no duress”) of the property in the trade has a cloud over it.

    It’s also a shame because the indicted showed a lot of promise.

  4. “Please be advised that we are going way out on a limb at the request of Congressman Renzi. I am putting my complete faith in Congressman Renzi…that this is the right decision”

    I wonder, who could the author of that email have been? Representative of “Investment Group ‘B'” admitting he knew that he was taking part in a tainted transaction? Should the person who sent this email also have known better? Wonder what kinds of questions that the feds are asking “B”?

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