[JURIST] US Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) [official website] has been indicted [press release] on charges that include extortion, money laundering, and wire fraud in connection with a complex land scheme, according to an indictment [PDF text] released Friday at a Phoenix press conference [recorded audio]. If convicted, Renzi could face thousands in fines and prison time.
Prosecutors allege Renzi used his position on the House Natural Resources Committee [official website] to block federal land transfer deals unless land owned by Texas real estate investor James W. Sandlin was included. In exchange, Renzi allegedly received over $700,000 in payoffs. Sandlin was also indicted on charges of extortion, fraud, money-laundering and conspiracy. AP has more.