The news that Larry Householder, the long-time Speaker of Ohio’s House of Representatives, was indicted by a federal grand jury shook a lot of people up last month. He is facing charges related to what authorities have called the largest bribery and money laundering scheme in the state’s history,
Householder wasn’t the only person charged. Others who are allegedly involved in the corruption include his campaign manager, a corporate entity known as “Generation Now,” and several lobbyists. This is the first time the Southern District of Ohio has ever charged a public official with racketeering. Investigators claim that about $60 million was passed through secret accounts in trade for a $1 billion nuclear plant bailout.
What exactly is racketeering and money laundering? At its heart, racketeering involves organized criminal activity between one or more parties. It can include prostitution rings, gambling schemes, extortion, drug enterprises and more. It often has a financial element involved.
That’s where the money laundering comes in. When money is obtained through less-than-legal means, it’s very hard to get any benefit from it. After all, money doesn’t usually just appear in someone’s bank account without any known source. Spending those ill-gotten funds can be tricky — unless you find a way to make the money look legitimate in some way. That usually involves complicated financial tricks that are designed to take “dirty” money from illegal sources and make it seem legally acquired, or “clean.”
While this chapter in Ohio’s history is still unfolding, there’s no question that money laundering and racketeering charges are serious. You can end up facing charges even if your involvement was far from that kind of action. If you’re facing charges, make sure that you speak to an experienced attorney — before you talk to authorities.