Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Under Investigation by: The DOJ, the House Ethics Committee, the FBI, the IRS, the OCE, and the FEC.
Under Investigation for: Rep. Buchanan is under scrutiny for allegedly directing his former business partner to reimburse employees who contributed to Rep. Buchanan’s congressional campaigns. According to the former business partner, Sam Kazran, and several other former employees of Rep. Buchanan’s car dealerships, partners and employees who made contributions to Rep. Buchanan’s congressional campaigns were reimbursed with corporate funds. Mr. Kazran claimed Rep. Buchanan personally instructed him to engage in the reimbursement scheme. Mr. Kazran also claimed that Rep. Buchanan pressured him to sign a false affidavit and file it with the FEC in return for setting a lawsuit. In addition, the House Ethics Committee is investigating Rep. Buchanan for failing to disclose 17 positions he held at Florida organizations, as well as unearned income he reported on his federal tax returns but left off his personal financial disclosure forms.
Status: On April 16, 2010, the FEC notified Rep. Buchanan that the commission had reason to believe he violated campaign finance law. On February 1, 2011, however, the commission determined “to take no further action and close the file” on Rep. Buchanan. On October 18, 2011, the Bradenton Herald reported that the DOJ had opened an investigation into Rep. Buchanan. On February 23, 2012, the New York Times reported the FBI and IRS are investigating Rep. Buchanan. On September 11, 2012, Rep. Buchanan’s attorney said the DOJ had dropped its investigation into Rep. Buchanan. The OCE referred two separate investigations into Rep. Buchanan to the House Ethics Committee. The House Ethics Committee is continuing to investigate Mr. Kazran’s claim about the false affidavit, but the committee announced on June 29, 2012, it had closed its investigation into Rep. Buchanan’s inaccurate personal financial disclosure statements.