Allen West likes a business success story, and nothing in business says success like a $5 million conviction for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
The controversial congressman, according to LibertyLinked.com, visited with Reagan Wireless in Deerfield Beach, Florida in September, 2011. It's a company that proudly touts on its website that "We Built This Business Without Government Help."
"This is a perfect example of how a small green business can flourish without government intervention," West told Liberty Linked. "Reagan Wireless is a shining light of entrepreneurial success in our district."
The company refurbishes cell phones that originate in the United States. The majority of the refurbished phones are then sold overseas.
"More than 80% of the cellular phones we receive get a second life in the market, in Latin America and beyond," Daniel Kaufman, CEO of Reagan Wireless told the website. "We're a true recycling company, in that the phones are not destroyed or ending up as landfill. Plus, we're helping the trade deficit."
Failure to destroy recycled components in 2006, though, landed Reagan Wireless in serious federal legal trouble.
The e-magazine truth-2-Power.com located a document prepared for the Department of the Treasury that dims that "shining light."
According to a report titled "Treasury Forfeiture Fund Accountability Report, 2006," there was "a plea agreement between Reagan Wireless Corporation and the United States Attorneys Office whereby Reagan Wireless agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and forfeit $5,000,000 to the United States."
The report details the facts of the case that lead to the plea:
Reagan Wireless Corporation (Reagan Wireless) operated a business in Pompano Beach, Florida that was purportedly recycling electronic components. Large radio companies executed contracts with Reagan Wireless to destroy cellular telephones, including irreparable and malfunctioning cellular telephones, older models no longer for sale, parts and equipment, circuit boards, etc., and were supposed to recycle the plastic parts of cellular telephones and equipment. Pursuant to the contract, the co-conspirators sent these large radio companies a Certificate of Destruction certifying that the cellular telephones, parts and equipment had, in fact, been destroyed, along with a videotape of the actual process of destruction. However, Reagan Wireless had sold them instead."
Kaufman and his wife Renee have resurfaced recently as the largest donor to date to the American Principles Super PAC which has placed dozens of anti-Obama billboards across three counties of Southeast Florida which came to national attention when the media descended upon Boca Raton for the third and final presidential debate.
The group also supports Allan West with an unattributed quote on billboards proclaiming him "Most Common Sense Congressman."
How much common sense does a congressman or his paid staff have, though, that touts a business convicted of two felony fraud counts and one felony count of money laundering?