Jury reaches verdict in trial of former Rep. Renzi
Former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi By Mike Gertzman
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A federal jury in Tucson has reached a verdict in the corruption case against former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi. Jurors convicted Renzi on 17 of 32 counts.
Renzi is accused of trying to engineer a federal land swap for personal financial gain and of looting clients' premiums from his family insurance business to pay for his 2002 campaign then lying about it to regulators.
Renzi, a Republican, represented Arizona's sprawling 1st Congressional District from early 2003 until early 2009. He chose not to run for re-election in 2008 while facing a federal indictment. Renzi was charged with 32 felony counts, including conspiracy, extortion and money laundering.
He was found guilty of 17 felony offenses including conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, extortion under color of official right, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators.
His lawyer claims the prosecution's case was fabricated by FBI agents, while authorities say he used his business and his elected office for corrupt purposes to benefit himself.