You’re not dumb enough to have fallen for one of those Nigerian email frauds, are you?
But, then you’re not a former democrat Congressman, married to a current democrat Congresswoman, whose son is dating Chelsea Clinton, either. I guess if you can believe that socialized healthcare will work, believing in free millions from Nigeria is no problem.
If reports are true that Chelsea Clinton and her boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky are considering marriage, the father of the groom won’t be able to attend the wedding until he is released from prison in November 2008.
Ed Mezvinsky, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa, is serving a seven-year sentence for fraud after getting caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams.
Initially, Mezvinsky became the victim of “just about every different kind of African-based scam we’ve ever seen,” federal prosecutor Bob Zauzmer told 20/20 for a report to be broadcast this evening.
But then, says Zauzmer, Mezvinsky began to steal from clients and even his own mother-in-law to raise the money to try yet another scheme.
Former U.S. Rep. Ed Mezvinsky pleaded guilty to stealing $10.4 million from his friends, family and business associates and even his mother-in-law .
Mezvinsky tearfully expressed remorse before being sentenced Thursday to six years, eight months in prison for defrauding business associates, friends and family.
Federal prosecutors called Mezvinsky, 65, a “con man” who faked mental illness to avoid punishment for bilking friends and business associates. They were seeking a nine to 11-year prison term for the disgraced lawmaker, who pleaded guilty to 31 counts of fraud in September.
Through tears, Mezvinsky told U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell that he still fails to completely understand his actions.
“I went into a spiral that turned into the house of cards that fell,” Mezvinsky said.
Dalzell gave credit to Mezvinsky for accepting responsibility with a guilty plea, but rejected a plea for leniency over Mezvinsky’s alleged mental capacity. He sentenced the former lawmaker to 80 months in prison.
“Whatever impairment Mr. Mezvinsky may have had — and I am dubious in the extreme about that — it simply did not contribute to the … crimes which took place over 12 years,” Dalzell said.
Mezvinsky and his wife, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, who also served in Congress, were once high-profile Democrats who hobnobbed with Bill and Hillary Clinton and raised 11 children, some adopted, at their suburban Philadelphia mansion.
Prosecutors said Mezvinsky began soliciting cash for fraudulent schemes in the 1980s, and eventually collected millions for business ventures that never materialized, including an oil deal, a coin trading company and an effort to sell bracelets in Africa.
In the meantime, Mezvinsky fell victim to several Nigerian investment scams and lost much of his borrowed money. He blamed the losses on a bipolar disorder and a bad reaction to anti-malaria drug Lariam.
“I have been in denial for a long period, and now I’m accepting responsibility,” Mezvinsky said.
Hat tip to John Brewer.