Now Acme pursues Wyly

The SEC gets medieval on a couple of non-Wall Street operators:

Sam and Charles Wyly, billionaire Texas brothers who gained prominence spending millions of dollars on conservative political causes, committed fraud by using secret overseas accounts to generate more than $550 million in profit through illegal stock trades, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Thursday.

The Wylys, who have been generous contributors to the Republican Party and GOP candidates, have spent the past several years facing questions, including from a Senate investigative committee, about whether they hid millions of dollars in tax shelters abroad. Through their lawyer, the Wylys denied all charges.

Jenn questions the timing:

Six years of investigation but the SEC doesn’t bring charges until the day that Charles Rangel is charged? I don’t think so. If they really had anything they would have charged sooner or they would wait a week to avoid the appearance that they were trying to distract from the Rangel investigation.

And what’s the point of tax shelters, if not to hide money? The tax system we have encourages — hell, practically demands — them. Of course, Treasury wants you to use their approved shelters rather than those horrible offshore operations, but the demand for shelters manifestly exceeds the supply, and we all know what the government understands about supply and demand. (Short version: well, technically, there can’t be a long version. Laws of physics, doncha know.)

Besides, the two situations aren’t strictly comparable. The Wylys occasionally create jobs; the Rangels of the world create only patronage.


  1. Jeffro »

    30 July 2010 · 10:04 pm

    And Rangel is just gonna get his hands slapped. Just in time for elections – “Most Ethical Party Evah!”

  2. KingShamus »

    31 July 2010 · 6:20 am

    Yeah, this is a distraction from the Rangel mess.

    I don’t think the Wyly boys are gonna get a slap on the wrist like Congressman Cholly.

  3. Tatyana »

    31 July 2010 · 8:09 am

    I was listening to the TV covering of Rangel’s mess and just couldn’t get it straight: what is all this talk about deal with ethics committee? Is he guilty or not? Did he do these things ( he did, and more)? Then he should be brought to court, made to return public money and sentenced according to law.

    How come an ethics committee became a substitute for Law?

    Why they have have an authority to forgive or punish on behalf of the people?

  4. CGHill »

    31 July 2010 · 9:55 am

    Well, he hasn’t yet been charged with anything other than violations of House rules, so it’s still technically a House matter. And I suspect that the local authorities are loath to prosecute a sitting House member, lest their own departures from the straight and narrow be somehow entered into the public record.

  5. FMJRA Saturday « A Conservative Shemale »

    31 July 2010 · 11:29 am

    […] Dustbury linked my questioning of the timing of the charges against the Wyly brothers […]

  6. Tatyana »

    31 July 2010 · 11:30 am

    Is “sitting House member” exempt from the laws of this country?

  7. CGHill »

    31 July 2010 · 11:35 am

    They go to considerable lengths to make sure that the rules that apply to us don’t apply to them. (No Congresscritter will be the least bit inconvenienced by ObamaCare, for instance.) And even when they don’t, they take it for granted that they don’t have to bother with such things. Another reason why the river has to be rerouted through the stable.

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