Though Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme commanded much of the media’s attention, a lesser recognized Ponzi schemer had a less high profile but seemingly more intricate scam going on with countless ties to politicians, CEOs, and media personalities including Gregory Meeks, a Queens Congressman.
According to the Miami Herald, Allen Stanford had fired one of the people who ran one of his banks in Venezuela. The person fired was none too thrilled and threatened to expose the fraud that we not know Stanford was orchestrating.
In response, the very powerful Stanford convinced Congressman Meeks (who is one of the members of the Caribbean Caucus in the House of Representatives) to travel to Venezuela and speak directly to President Hugo Chavez to ask him to launch a criminal probe against the man fired. And you though you had friends in high places?
Not long after Meeks went down there, the man fired from his job was charged by the Chavez government on a number of corruption allegations.
All this happened while Meeks was allegedly on a trip to speak to Chavez about a program that sent heating oil to people living in the northeast. Perhaps Meeks brought this up in their meetings but the trip was funded by Stanford. As were five other trips that Meeks took with his wife.
Stanford and his employees have also donated tens of thousands to Meeks over the years.