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News Section: National Government

BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Vern Buchanan Cleared; Ethics Committee Report Finds No Violations

Published Tuesday, July 10, 2012 12:45 am

WASHINGTON – The House Ethics Committee, in a unanimous bipartisan vote, has dismissed allegations about Rep. Vern Buchanan’s personal financial disclosure statements after Buchanan's former business partner claimed the congressman plotted to launder money from his car dealerships into his campaign funds, and then tried to get others to cover it up.


The 9-0 vote is the second major investigation to repudiate false allegations made against Congressman Buchanan.The committee found no violations in the filing of Buchanan’s disclosure reports that were later amended.  


“The Committee found no evidence that the errors were knowing or willful and unanimously determined that the errors were not substantively different from the hundreds or thousands of errors corrected by amendment at the requirement of the Committee every year,” said the report unanimously adopted by the bipartisan House Committee on Ethics.


Buchanan said he was pleased with the committee’s action but not surprised, noting that many Congressmen and Senators routinely amend their reports due to inadvertent omissions.


Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan is a self-made millionaire who earned his money through the auto industry. He is serving his third term in Congress, for Florida’s District 13, which encompasses all of Sarasota, DeSoto, and Hardee counties and most of Manatee County. He is in currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, and he sits on the powerful House Ways and Means committee.


Buchanan’s former business partner Sam Kazran presented federal investigators with documents in an attempt to prove allegations of financial laundering. He claimed Buchanan’s employees were forced to write checks, and then were reimbursed with cash drawn from his car dealerships. The two men had a falling out over their finances, and have been suing each other for years. 


The ethics report said “between 30 percent and 50 percent of all Financial Disclosure Statements reviewed by the Committee each year contain errors or omissions. Such errors and omissions are not uncommon and are typically corrected through amendments to Financial Disclosure Statements, and do not involve any further Committee action.”


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