RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s money management woes go back years

Before the Republican National Committee spent $1,946 at a bondage-themed nightclub, before its chairman, Michael Steele, drew complaints for frequently chartering private jets on his donors’ dime, before Steele redecorated his office for more than $18,000 and hosted a winter meeting in Honolulu during the worst economy since the Great Depression – before all that, Steele had already accumulated a long list of money management woes as a Maryland politician.

Take Alan Fabian, for example. Steele chose Fabian to be finance chairman for his 2006 Senate run. Now Fabian’s in jail for almost $40 million worth of fraud.

The Justice Department’s rap sheet on Fabian reads like a decade-long financial car crash. He ran a “sale-leaseback” scheme with financiers based on computer equipment he never actually possessed. Then, forced into bankruptcy in 2004 when $32 million in fraud caught up with him, Fabian finagled another $7.5 million from defrauding two banks and an invoice company. He lied under oath in the bankruptcy proceedings and filed false tax returns.

Before Fabian was sentenced to nine years in prison in October 2008, when the game was still going, the stolen money was used to pay for Steele’s air travel, records show.

Steele reimbursed a company owned by Fabian for “travel” and “air travel” nine times. The Justice Department noted that Fabian used the stolen money to finance his private jet travel. The company reimbursed, the Centre for Management and Technology, was used for Fabian’s second fraud spree.

“We’ve known for years that Michael Steele acquired his taste for private jet travel while he was Maryland lieutenant governor and convicted felon Fabian flew him around the country in charter jets bought with stolen money,” liberal Maryland-based political researcher Steve Lebowitz said.

Additionally, Fabian received a $700,000 contract for computer services from the state of Maryland in 2005 while Steele was lieutenant governor. Then, in 2006, the contract was increased by $1.5 million to a total of $2.2 million. Fabian hosted a fundraiser for Steele around the time the contract was bumped up.

Other questions about Steele’s Senate campaign have surfaced. Steele sent $37,000 in campaign money to a company – defunct for more than a year at the time – owned by his sister, Monica Turner. Turner was married to Mike Tyson from 1997 to 2003.

The FBI questioned Turner. Steele said there was nothing improper about the payment.

Another friend of Steele’s, Sandy Roberts, was also involved in interesting financial situations.

A firm owned by Roberts that ostensibly traded commodities was sent more than $400,000 from several Republican accounts related to Steele and former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich.

Roberts was also involved in a contracting controversy involving vendors at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Roberts was given a slot reserved for minority-owned small businesses to sell newspapers and magazines. The Maryland Aviation Administration found problems with the contract. Steele denied involvement.

As a Washington Post story on Steele’s alleged financial improprieties noted: “Over the years, money trouble has been a persistent problem for Steele.”

Steele faced foreclosure in 2001, facing debts from his first race for public office in 1998. During that campaign, state officials fined him twice for missing campaign disclosure deadlines.

Most recently, Steele paid $122,000 to a Washington law firm with a White Collar defense group during his first year as chairman of the RNC from money left over from his lieutenant governor campaign account. A source told the Baltimore Sun the money was for an “internal audit.”


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  • eddie s

    Race questions aside.. I have never known a Poltician, from the Ward Leaders, to the School Boards, to the Mayor to the City Council to Reps and Congress people to be financially competent people.. Look at every Blue State, look at what Obama has done,,none of it shines any light or sets an example for Finanical responsibilty or competenence and well I for one am tired of it…

    The only way a Demonrat knows how to balance the budget is to forciable take it from someone they don’t like or are trying to foce into doing something…or step on the backs of the hard working taxpayers of this Country…

    It is time to put a stop to it…once and for all… I think the Constitution should be changed to allow for the Voter approval of ALL Government Spending,,

    Sure the Polticians can continue to provide the ideas and spell out the needs and argue over the merits, but I think we need to take their ability to make it into law away from them…

    Politicans have shown time after time, as they currently are on a nationwide level, that they are not responsible enough nor competent enough to handle this responsibility…

    So all spending should be approved by the hard working taxpayers, not the free loaders, but the people who are actually having to pay the bills!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fawzi-Momani/697536194 Fawzi Momani

    If anything, the little people need to realize that there is no need for a middleman to take your money and funnel it back (minus trips to sex clubs and corporate jet flights)down towards republicans running for office. First of all, when you give the RNC your money, you are losing control. You have now made that candidate receiving RNC money answerable to the RNC and not you. Why not give your money to the candidate directly ? What is so hard about it ? It takes less than a few minutes with a debit or credit card. Why not fund candidates yourself and make them answerable to you, and not “them”. Just an idea. The RNC ddoesn’t represent us little people. You know it, and I know it.

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  • hurtzallot

    Daily caller you win! Michael Steele just shouted UNCLE!…Tom.

  • rainmaker1145

    If this isn’t political cancer, what is? Hypocrisy is okay for Democrats because they never accept the consequences of their actions and decisions, but it is inexcusable for conservatives.

    Why is this guy still there? Why? What has Michael Steele done for the GOP? I know you people love him because Michael has this real deep tan, but did his chairmanship give you a sea of Black American votes? He didn’t produce? Well, when you don’t produce in the private-sector you get fired. Why should he get a special dispensation unless there is more here and someone else is protecting him so they do not get exposed?

    Either get rid of him today or face a REAL investigation. I gave money and i have no problem filing a wire fraud complaint with the FBI’s White Collar Crimes unit in San Francisco. Was there any fraud here?

    • hurtzallot

      ?…not if the chicks consider it a loan.

    • thebigodoopedu2

      Why do 90% of the black population blindly follow Obama? If Steele is so inefficient in doing his job shouldn’t you be more supportive in keeping him there? Or does your need to trash and bash someone trump your obvious agenda? If a man can dig a hole in a day and a half..how many holes can two men dig is 5 hours? If you wear a pot on your head are you a pot head? If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled? What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men? If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed? these my friend are important questions…

  • elektramourns

    an RNC flyer got the reader to call a number that connects to a sex club