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Hillary Donor Indicted For Money Laundering

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By See-Dubya  •  April 27, 2008 01:34 AM

Since I was blogging about money laundering today, I looked up a case I’ve been following for a while now. Woo-hoo! Remember Mauricio Celis? This might jog your memory:

In that September incident, Celis allegedly attempted to “take into custody” a nude woman at 4 a.m. outside a Corpus Christi convenience store while dressed only in a bathrobe and waving a sheriff’s badge from nearby Duval County.

Well, back in January they raided his office with a search warrant for evidence of money laundering, and since then we’ve been expecting the other Hsu to drop on this TCD*. Yesterday there was an audible clunk from the courthouse in Corpus Christi:

A Nueces County grand jury handed up two indictments Friday against former law firm operator Mauricio Celis, charging him with money laundering and impersonating a lawyer. The money laundering charge is a first-degree felony punishable by five years to life in prison.

Now, it’s a little bit of a disappointment, because the original search warrant for Celis thought he was laundering drug money for the Mexican cartels:

celis-warrant.jpg

Would have been sweet, but that doesn’t seem to be the charge underlying the money-laundering indictments.

State law defines money laundering as acquiring or transferring money through the commission of a crime. The crime to which Valdez and the Texas Attorney General’s Office link the money transfer is impersonating a lawyer.

Well, I think they’ve got him dead-bang on that. What occupation did he list when he donated to Hillary and the Democrats?

2193028563_9705e1aa38.jpg

“Attorney”. If he now claims he lied to the FCCFEC about his occupation, he’s kind of in a pickle there, too. And there may be more to come:

[DA Carlos] Valdez called the case unique in Nueces County history.

“This is just the tip of a very, very big iceberg,” Valdez said. “There’s no way we can delve into all that’s happened.”

Oh, delve! Delve, I say!

*Typical Clinton Donor.

AM UPDATE: BTW, I don’t expect this story to get a lot of coverage outside conservative circles unless Hillary is slow in giving back the money he raised for her. Maybe I’m wrong, though, and Obama will run with it. It’s already had some effect in Texas, where an association with Celis may have driven one Democratic challenger to Senator Cornyn, Mikal Watts, from the race.

While the Hillary donor angle is the most interesting, by the way, he’s a big donor to many different Democrats. Not a Hsu-sized mega-donor by any means, but significant. You can check his contributions on the FEC website.

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{Post by See-Dubya}

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