Appeals Court Upholds Former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi’s Conviction and Sentence

As this article indicates, even lawmakers can find themselves in trouble with the law. On Thursday, October 9, the criminal conviction and sentence for former U.S. Representative Rick Renzi were upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to a news report at AZ Central.

Renzi, a former Arizona Republican Congressman who served from 2003 to 2009, was found guilty in 2013 of money laundering, racketeering, conspiracy, and other felony offenses. He was given a three year prison sentence, but was not imprisoned pending his appeal of the conviction and sentence.

Renzi was convicted by the U.S. District Court on what were basically two criminal schemes. He reportedly funneled money into his own political campaign which were insurance premiums designated to be paid to his company, and was found guilty of extortion when he allegedly threatened to block a federal land exchange proposal unless the proposal included property a business associate friend of Renzi owned.

In appealing his convictions, Renzi’s attorneys argued about whether prosecutors violated legislative immunity in the case involving land-exchange, and whether “something of value” was involved in the extortion plot. The embezzlement convictions were also challenged by defense attorneys, who disputed whether what constitutes financial documents and an insurance business were property defined by the trial court. In the end, the panel of judges rejected every argument.

One of Renzi’s attorneys wrote that while they were disappointed in the outcome, they intend to seek further appellate review.

Michigan criminal appeals attorneys work with clients convicted of all types of crimes, whether armed robbery, carjacking, or other violent crimes, or “white collar” crimes such as embezzlement or money laundering. Regardless of the offense you have been convicted of, it may be worthwhile to appeal your conviction or sentence, particularly if you are innocent or feel that your rights were violated, or errors made in the criminal justice process.

One factor is critical in the outcome: the quality of attorney you choose. It is vital to choose an appellate attorney who is highly skilled and experienced in the appeals process for the best results.

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