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Miers Headed Law Firm Repeatedly Forced to Pay Damages For Defrauding Investors

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In case anyone thought Harriet Miers wasn't a corporate-shill-in-White-House-clothing, take a gander at how Miers did her best Ken Lay impression while heading a major Texas corporate law firm. That's right, according to the 5/1/00 newsletter Class Action Reporter, Miers headed Locke, Liddell & Sapp at the time the firm was forced to pay $22 million to settle a suit asserting that "it aided a client in defrauding investors."

The details of the case are both nauseating and highly troubling, considering President Bush is considering putting Miers at the top of America's legal system. Under Miers' leadership, the firm represented the head of a "foreign currency trading company [that] was allegedly a Ponzi scheme." The law firm admitted that it "knew in March 1998 that $8 million in [the company's] losses hadn't been reported to investors" but didn't tell regulators.

This wasn't an isolated incident, either. The Austin American-Statesman reported in 2001 that Miers' law firm was forced to pay another $8 million for a similar scheme to defraud investors. The suit, which dealt with actions the firm took under Miers in the late 1990s, was again quite troubling. As the 9/20/00 Texas Lawyer reported, Miers' firm helped a now-convicted con man "defraud investors and allowed the firm's [bank] account to be used as a 'conduit.'" The suit said "money from investors that went into the firm's trust account was deposited into [the con man's] bank accounts and was used to pay for his 'expensive toys.'"

If you think Miers wasn't involved in any of this - think again. Miers wasn't just any old lawyer at the firm. She was the Managing Partner - the big cheese. True, she could claim she had no idea this was going on. But that would be as laughable/pathetic/transparent as the Enron executives who made the same ones after they ripped off investors.

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I wrote earlier today that Democrats must focus on the fact that Miers' defining career experience up until her nomination was being a Bush crony. These new details about her career only enhance that case, in that it shows she is just like the other corrupt corporate cronies like Enron's Ken ("Kenny Boy") Lay that Bush has surrounded himself with over the years. There is no room on the Supreme Court for people like Miers who are clearly entirely compromised by partisan/corporate loyalties - loyalties that might make her an attractive candidate to the a corrupt elitists who run today's Republican Party, but a danger to the interests of ordinary Americans.

Sources:
Miers headed law firm fined for defrauding investors:
http://www.nathannewman.org/log/archives/003439.shtml
Details of first case that Miers' law firm was fined for:
http://bankrupt.com/car_public/000501.mbx
Earlier post on Dems' strategy in facing Miers' nomination:
http://bankrupt.com/car_public/000501.mbx

 

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David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)
 

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