WASHINGTON -- A former congressman convicted of 17 felonies including extortion, money laundering, bribery and insurance fraud was sentenced Monday to three years in prison.
Former Rep. Rick Renzi, a three-term Republican from Flagstaff, Ariz., was convicted in June of using his influence in Congress to profit from a federal land deal and of using clients' insurance premiums to finance his first congressional campaign, the Justice Department said.
In 2005, Renzi used his position to promote a land deal that brought millions of dollars to him and a business partner, James W. Sandlin, the Justice Department said in a news release. Sandlin, Renzi's co-defendant, was also convicted in June by a federal jury in Tucson. He was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison.
"Mr. Renzi abused the power -- and the corresponding trust -- that comes with being a member of Congress by putting his own financial interests over the interests of the citizens he had sworn to serve," said Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. "He fleeced his own insurance company to fund his run for Congress, and then exploited his position for personal gain."