Would it be too mean to say, maybe at a certain point, you’ve made enough money?
Rep. Alan Grayson, the famously strident liberal, is also one of the richest people in Congress. He’s now quite a bit less rich because he got duped out of $18 million in an investment scheme:
For the second time in his life, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has lost millions to fraud.
Grayson was recently named in federal court papers in the case against William Dean Chapman, a Virginia man who was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison. Chapman pleaded guilty in May to a scheme that cheated Grayson and about 120 other people out of more than $35 million, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
Yikes, not cool, even for an adversary as nasty as Grayson. He’s the one who doesn’t think people should keep what they earn, not me. Grayson’s name was supposed to be concealed in official documents, but references to his full name slipped through:
Nothing in the court papers suggests Grayson was anything but a victim of the scheme. Grayson, a former trial attorney, said he has had a long record for picking winning stocks, which formed the basis for his personal fortune.
The scheme worked like this: clients would turn over their stocks to Chapman as collateral for a loan, and Chapman would let customers borrow about 90% of the stocks’ value.
If the stocks did badly, borrowers could walk away and keep the money they were loaned. If the borrowers’ stocks did well, they would repay the loan with interest, and Chapman was supposed to return the stocks to the investor at their increased value.
According to court papers, Chapman sold the stocks and had no way to fulfill his obligations if a client’s stock portfolio did well.
“That’s why (Chapman) is going to prison for a long, long time,” Grayson said. “At least in the end, some kind of justice was served.”
In Grayson’s case, his stocks performed astronomically well while they were entrusted to Chapman and his company, Alexander Capital Markets.
It sounds like Grayson hadn’t found out about the first scam before he invested in the second, so it’s not as dumb as it sounds. But it does sound like he might be some sort of stock savant, capable of picking phenomenally but incapable of reading personalities and social cues that would give away a scam like this. Also, isn’t it curious that even though Grayson is one of the richest people in Congress, that’s never a giant part of his biography when he’s profiled and referred to in media huh?
And, while we’re on a schadenfreudey kick, enjoy “SNL” knocking Al Sharpton this weekend. But these guys are the smart ones, right?
Kenan Thompson, SNL’s Al Sharpton, spent the joke segment discussing the “fixed” Obamacare website in a discussion with “unpaid Huffington Post correspondent” Paul Douchet (whose name Sharpton could not pronounce), played by Paul Rudd. “The website now works 90 percent of the time, but Republicans still don’t want to give credit where credit is kind of due,” Sharpton said. The health-care website is “now capable of handling 800,000 folks a day. Wow. That’s 200,000 short of a butt-load,” he said.
To back his claim, Thompson’s Sharpton cites only Obama and the Obama administration: “This law is working. President Obama said it, the White House report said it, and the official white House spokesman said it. That’s three different people. How much more evidence do we need?”