Would you loan $22.75 million to a convicted felon who is barred from entering the United States? Neither would I.
What if newspapers reported that a bank he controlled handled the personal accounts of Saddam Hussein? And what if his business partner was Tony Rezko? Definitely not.
But that’s exactly what Broadway Bank did when it loaned $22.75 million to Nadhmi Auchi and Tony Rezko. At the time, Alexi Giannoulias claimed in the press to be vice president and senior loan officer.
According to the New York Times, a Belgian diplomat said Auchi controlled a bank that “handled the personal accounts for Saddam Hussein.” The New York Times also reported that “Auchi sold Italian naval vessels to Mr. Hussein's government in the early 1980's.” That fact was reported by the British Observer and the Independent.
In 2008, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Auchi was previously barred from entering the United States. Just last week the Sun-Times reported that Auchi was “convicted several years ago in France on fraud charges.”
According to the Associated Press, “Auchi was convicted of receiving illegal commissions as part of France's giant Elf-Aquitaine oil scandal that sent top executives to jail. In 2003, Auchi got a suspended sentence and was fined.” This was also reported by the Independent.
The very fact that Broadway Bank has a long track record of loaning money to thugs and criminals like Auchi and Rezko should tell us everything we need to know about its former senior loan officer, Alexi Giannoulias, his judgment and whether he is suited to represent us in the United States Senate.
Now convicted felon Auchi claims he is innocent - read his attorney's letter here. Maybe he’ll even threaten to sue us for mentioning his well-documented criminal past.
Who do you trust more: Alexi Giannoulias whose campaign last week called Broadway's loan to Rezko and Auchi “sound” or the United States Department of State, which prohibited Nadhmi Auchi's entry into America?
We think the State Department, New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Observer and Independent got it right. The people of Illinois should know more about Alexi Giannoulias and his Broadway Bank clients.
Eric Elk, Kirk for Senate
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Alexi and Auchi
More from the Kirk on Alexi and Auchi.