Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

November 20, 2006

Coingate's Tom Noe Gets 18 Years

The Culture of Corruption parade continues. Though Noe's lawyer argued that this was a "one-time crime and set of circumstances that I think will never echo at any point in the history of this state again", the judge was unconvinced:

A former GOP fundraiser at the center of a scandal-plagued state investment in rare coins that helped Democrats seize power in the midterm elections was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison.

Tom Noe, a prominent coin dealer accused of taking at least $2 million, was convicted last week of theft, corrupt activity, money laundering, forgery and tampering with records.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Osowik, who described the crime as an "elaborate scheme of theft on a large scale," also fined Noe $120,000.

"You continued to spend the bureau's money at what I thought was a shockingly, alarmingly large rate, and done for one purpose: to present some type of a facade that you had a bottomless cup of wealth and luxury at your disposal, when in fact it was at the state's expense," Osowik said.
Considering he could've served as much as 70 years in prison, Noe actually got lucky. More from the Toledo Blade, which first broke the Coingate scandal in 2005.

In 1994, Treasurer Robert Citron was indicted for investing Orange County's funds into high-risk derivatives that led to the county filing for bankruptcy. Now that Noe got his punishment, what about an investigation into who gave the go ahead to invest $50 million of the Ohio Workers Compensation Fund in the highly speculative and unregulated rare coins market? Who made the call to award its management to Noe? And why did Noe's activities go largely unmonitored?

Noe was a "Pioneer" Republican fundraiser who raised at least $100,000 for Bush's re-election campaign; he was convicted earlier this year of funneling those funds illegally. Was there a connection between his Republican donations and being chosen to manage the Fund's coin investments? The sequence of events suggest that there was, yet no investigations have been conducted about it. Now that Noe is behind bars, there will likely be none at all.

Image: AP Photo/Jeremy Wadsworth.

Tags: bush, tom noe, ohio

posted at 3:44 PM by Wonky Muse

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Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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