A dying mechanic wanted a few thousand dollars to leave to his wife, two sons and infant daughter. A politically connected millionaire, now running for Virginia governor, wanted to make some money. And a Rhode Island estate planner wanted to become ambassador to the Vatican.
All three came together on paper in late 2006 in a deal struck just two months before the 44-year-old mechanic died of cancer.
The mechanic got $5,000. The millionaire, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, made at least $47,000. But the estate planning lawyer, Joseph Caramadre, went to prison instead of Rome.
I mean, I understand the concept: a loophole in the law allowed Terry McAuliffe to buy the participation of a dying man in an insurance annuity scheme that had a guaranteed no-loss outcome. Put in money, get out money: scummy, but legal. What I don’t get is what kind of diseased scumbag would allow things to be set up so that the dying guy made five grand profit and he’d get forty-seven. Do the reverse, and I could maybe see how somebody could justify doing this and not wake up screaming at night.
The hell of it is: Terry McAuliffe probably doesn’t get what the fuss was about. After all, nobody can prove that he knew how the deal went down.
PS: For the love of God, Ken Cuccinelli for Governor.