Past "Asset Search News Roundups" described different schemes in which assets have been hidden. This "Asset Search News Roundup" is similarly about the criminal complaint filed against Illinois Governor Blagojevich, which raises among other things, the question of whether Governor Blagojevich had possibly considered hiding / dissipating assets.

While the criminal complaint against Governor Blagojevich alleges that he tried to: extort the Tribune Co., sell President-elect Obama’s Senate seat, etc., it also claims that Governor Blagojevich learned from a news story that he had been surreptitiously recorded during a criminal investigation.  Presumably because of this criminal investigation, Governor Blagojevich had allegedly discussed conveying monies from his "Friends of Blagojevich" campaign fund to prevent them from being "frozen". (Criminal Complaint at pages 73-74, paragraphs 115 {c} & {d}).

The criminal complaint against Governor Blagojevich further alleges that he discussed whether he should prepay monies to his criminal defense lawyer with the understanding that these same monies might later be returned. The Governor also supposedly talked about depositing campaign contributions into a newly formed fund raising account called "Citiizens for Blagojevich".  All of the foregoing suggests that Governor Blagojevich might have contemplated hiding assets because he anticipated asset forfeiture or other forced collection proceedings as the subject of a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, The World Bank published a blog post about Governor Blagojevich this week, "Illinois Governor Blagojevich: sign of endemic corruption in the US?".  Said blog post argues that the U.S. does not suffer from endemic levels of corruption despite the fact of the criminal complaint against Governor Blagojevich.  Governor Blagojevich however, is the fifth Illinois governor to face criminal charges in the last fifty years, as mentioned by the Los Angeles Times article "Illinois governor faces corruption charges".  According to that Los Angeles Times article, an FBI agent also made the following comment about Illinois: "If this isn’t the most corrupt state in the United States, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor".

Copyright 2008 Fred L. Abrams