DECEMBER 03, 2008
A veteran member of a major U.S. county’s Board of Supervisors has been charged with multiple felonies for concealing crucial business assets, associates and land dealings that conflict with his work as an elected official.
The longtime supervisor (Republican Don Stapley) in Arizona’s Maricopa County, the state’s largest, schemed to illegally hide his personal business connections for more than a decade, according to a 118-count indictment filed this week by county prosecutors.
Authorities say Stapley failed to disclose multimillion-dollar parcels of land, hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal and business bank accounts, leadership positions in Arizona corporations and a variety of other lucrative financial holdings.
At least one of the felonies the politician is accused of involves an associate recently convicted of federal bank fraud. Other charges include perjury, forgery, false swearing and filing a false financial disclosure statement.
Financial disclosure laws exist at the federal, state and local government levels to inform the public of any conflict of interest created by a politician’s financial interests and business dealings. In most cases, the disclosures are considered sworn statements and lying on them can amount to a felony that carries a possible prison sentence.
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