culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Friday, January 23, 2004
Thinking out of the lockbox. A leading Social Security privatization advocate was captured yesterday at a Houston motel (
Houston Chronicle):
A Southern California investment adviser authorities believe bilked $814 million from thousands of clients in a nationwide scam was arrested early this morning at a Houston motel, an FBI spokesman said.

James Paul Lewis Jr., 57, was expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Frances Stacy today. He was arrested without incident at a Houston motel sometime after midnight , said Bob Doguim, a Houston FBI spokesman.


Doguim said Lewis is accused of "stealing from Paul to pay Mary."

"That money was never invested in anything," he said. "All he was doing was finding others (investors). That is the money he used to show some kind of return."

When the FBI raided his office Dec. 22, Lewis was supposed to have $814 million on hand for the firm's clients, but bank accounts held about $2.3 million. Federal authorities have frozen those accounts.


The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission allege Lewis fabricated more than $730 million in interest payments. Even accounting for the fictitious funds, Lewis still should have $75 million more than investigators can find, the SEC said. A temporary receiver appointed to find more assets put the shortfall at $100 million.
Speaking of nationwide scams, all retirement funding privatization schemes lead to stories just like this one. Which is not to say that all privatization advocates are crooks, but they are advocates of an inherently riskier system that allows for criminal negligence of the types we've seen in a number of mutual fund companies — thanks largely to the investigations of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

"Stealing from Paul to pay Mary" is Lewis's variation on the Republican theme of "stealing from working taxpayers to pay corporate donors."

James Paul Lewis Jr. was captured only because his namesake father did not have the foresight to fix the Supreme Court, get him appointed president of the United States, and turn his crimes into federal policy.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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