POLITICS

Supreme Court Rejects Convicted Congressman's Appeal

06/29/2015 09:53 am ET | Updated Jun 29, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by former congressman Richard Renzi seeking to challenge his 2013 conviction stemming from a proposed federal land swap deal the Arizona Republican pushed when in office.

The court's refusal to hear separate appeals filed by Renzi, who was given a three-year prison sentence for fraud, extortion and money laundering, and co-defendant James Sandlin means both men's convictions remain intact.

Renzi was convicted on charges stemming from coercing an investment group in 2005 to buy land from former business partner Sandlin, who then funneled corporate checks to Renzi.

Renzi, who represented Arizona's 1st congressional district from January 2003 until he left office in 2009, was also convicted of funneling funds from an insurance company he managed into personal and campaign accounts.

Sandlin was convicted of 13 felonies including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and extortion for his role in the land sale. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld both convictions in an October 2014 ruling.

The cases are Renzi v. U.S. and Sandlin v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-1082 and 14-1083. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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