Politically exposed persons who are involved in public corruption schemes, sometimes use money laundering to hide bribes or other illicit proceeds. Although not accused of money laundering, former Detroit city councilwoman Monica Conyers, was a politically exposed person suspected of accepting bribes. Monica Conyers is also the wife of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.
The Detroit News and others reported earlier that Monica Conyers was under investigation for supposedly accepting jewelry and cash. As was also widely reported, she recently pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. This bribery conspiracy was outlined in a second superseding information filed June 26, 2009. According to Monica Conyers’ plea agreement, her bribe-taking involved a wastewater treatment contract between Synagro Technologies Inc. and the City of Detroit.
Unlike Monica Conyers, former Massachusetts state senator Dianne Wilkerson has pleaded not guilty to public corruption charges. I first wrote about Diane Wilkerson in my November 5, 2008 "Asset Search News Roundup". As a second superseding indictment in U.S.A. v. Wilkerson, 1:08-cr-10345 mentions, Dianne Wilkerson is accused of violating 18 U.S.C. §1951 ("the Hobbs Act") and other federal laws. The government is also seeking the forfeiture of Ms. Wilkerson’s assets, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §981 (a) (1) (C) and 28 U.S.C. §2461 (c).
Furthermore, an FBI Special Agent’s Affidavit relies on surveillance video / still photos to support the government’s contention that Diane Wilkerson had taken bribes related to a state liquor license. The government’s still photos were highly publicized and one of them supposedly showed Diane Wilkerson on June 18, 2007 hiding a $1000 bribe in her bra. The Special Agent’s Affidavit at pp. 6-7, ¶ 15, referred to some of these still photos as Exhibits "C" and "D":
Photos: U.S. District Court File, U.S.A. v. Wilkerson
Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams