Trouble for Governor Crist?
From the St. Petersburg Times-
Music promoter Lou Pearlman needed help to keep his huge financial Ponzi scheme going. Tampa lawyer Jim Lowy said he got it from then-Florida Attorney General - and now Governor - Charlie Crist as well as major financial institutions.Interfering in a criminal investigation is a very serious charge, but this is a civil suit so far. It is hard to gague how true the allegation is. Though honestly, I rarely trust politicians.
Crist delayed or interfered with investigations against Pearlman and his companies, Lowy said in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Tampa. The complaint alleged that $10,500 contributed by Pearlman and his companies to Crist's campaign for governor may have been diverted from scammed investors. And while Crist was attorney general, he enjoyed the use of Pearlman's skyboxes and private jet, according to the complaint, reimbursing the impresario for trips at far less than the actual cost.
"Crist violated his professional duty to avoid the appearance of impropriety," said Lowy's lawsuit, which states Crist reported the cost of a trip on Pearlman's Gulfstream jet at less than $350, when the actual cost is about $4,000 an hour.
Crist declined to comment, saying he had not been briefed on the details of the complaint.
Lowy and his 78-year-old mother count themselves among the victims of Pearlman's $317-million Ponzi scheme, in which early customers were compensated not from returns on investments but from the funds provided by later investors. His mother is among the 80 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, along with Beverly Silva, who had about $850,000 invested in Pearlman's companies and is now destitute.
"You expect the government to protect you," said Silva, a former St. Petersburg resident who now lives in Center Conway, N.H. "Everyone was covering up things and we're the ones to suffer."
The millions invested in Pearlman's companies have vanished, along with Pearlman, who is believed to be out of the country. That has left investors looking for ways to be compensated for their losses. Monday's lawsuit also names as defendants nine former employees of Pearlman's Orlando businesses.
Howard Troxler wrote the following.
Having praised the heck out of the gov so far, I hope you will not mind if I say, this looks bad for Gov. Charlie Crist and he ought to say something specific about the allegations. This Pearlman guy is increasingly looking like Public Scoundrel #1 and it is not reassuring that a lawsuit says the then-attorney general was flying around on his buddy-buddy's plane, hanging out in his skyboxes or anything else.Crist has gotten much accomplished in his short time as governor. All the good he has done could unravel if these allegations prove true.
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