Several top Arizona politicians and officials have been accused of accepting bribes from the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, but at the top of the list is new Gov. Katie Hobbs.
California-based Harris/Thaler Law Corporation has evidence linking Hobbs, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, Runbeck Election Services and a disturbing number of mayors, judges, city council members and county supervisors to bribes from a notorious drug cartel.
The finding was announced during a recent hearing before the Joint Committee on Senate Elections and Municipal Oversight and Elections. The presentation was conducted by Jacqueline Breger, principle investigator from Harris/Thaler, who provided excruciating detail about how what began as an investigation into money-laundering allegations turned into this major scandal.
Let’s be clear: AZ has two problems. First, phantom election workers on the Maricopa County payroll. Second, see below. pic.twitter.com/nYtStvIN3R
— John Thaler (@thaleresque) November 11, 2022
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According to Breger, “In 2006, the US Attorney’s Offices in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa investigated the laundering of drug cartel funds through a complex series of single-family home purchases in those states.
“By 2009, several real estate agents, escrow companies and title insurers had been indicted, charged and convicted of embezzlement.” He continued, “In 2014, our office was asked to review case files and determine whether funds from the sale of properties had filtered into property purchases in Arizona, specifically Maricopa and Pima County.”
The Sinaloa Cartel, run by the notorious Joaquin “El Chapo” Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, who is serving a life sentence in a supermax prison in Colorado, is considered the most powerful and deadliest drug cartel in the world.
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Investigators traced their findings back to Arizona when they found several real estate agents from Iowa who “set up a laundering scheme in Arizona and then transferred the proceeds of sales to Panamanian corporations.”
Bregers pointed out, “In 2018, Mr. Thaler, incidentally, discovered a series of trust deeds that proved widespread and ongoing cash laundering through single family residences in Arizona. With that, a new investigation began focusing on money laundering and related racketeering activities in Maricopa County and several other Arizona counties.
It is also noted that Harris/Thaler also currently represents several parties “directly harmed by the racketeering activities” discovered.
In a lengthy report provided by Breger, Arizona residents Dawna Rae Chavez and her daughter, Brittany Rae Chavez, were accused of being the “principal fabricators of the documents necessary to affect the racketeering enterprises.”
According to Breggers, “To date, over 10,000 false documents have been filed with the Maricopa County Recorder. We estimate that more than 35,000 Warranty Deeds/Trust Deeds exist in the database proving fraudulent transactions. 11. The number of false notarizations exceeded 15,000. 12. Dawna and Brittany’s participation in racketeering activities includes facilitating bribes of public officials, tax evasion, payroll theft, bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud and extortion.
Funds from these activities have gone directly to several politicians and election officials since 2004.
“Since 2004, elections within Pima County and Maricopa County have been manipulated through the infiltration of county databases as a result of paying bribes to executives at election service providers, including the principal of Runbeck Election Services,” Bregers said. “In addition to influencing local elections, bribery and infiltration were used to influence the outcome of races, including the outcome of the Maricopa County Recorder’s race in the November 3, 2020 election and the November 8, 2022 election (governor, secretary of state and attorney general)
BREAKING: AZ Senate probe names Katie Hobbs and Runbeck Election Services as recipients of Sinaloa cartel bribes through trust and phony mortgages.
When will the criminals running this country be held accountable? pic.twitter.com/kFY1qgn5vg
— Melissa Tate (@TheRightMelissa) February 25, 2023
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Down the rabbit hole
According to Breger’s report, the list of recipients of cartel bribes “included but not limited to multiple state office holders (State House/State Senate), local office holders, county supervisors, judges of the Maricopa County Superior Court, judges. Several city courts (including two presidents), judges Assistants, prosecutors in certain cities within Maricopa County, Maricopa County prosecutors, outside legal experts including attorneys, ‘approved’ mental health providers (court appointed counselors) and related specialists.
In Maricopa County, Pinal County and Pima County Superior Courts, “at least 25 percent of active judges have accepted bribes in exchange for protecting racketeering activities,” he said.
By the latter end of the report, the list of officials accused of falsifying documents related to money laundering operations included Governor Hobbs, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, Sen. Kristen Sinema, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, and many others.
Bregers noted that “this list includes individuals whose investigation has been completed. Additional officials and spouses, including Maricopa County judges and election officials, are currently implicated by the evidence obtained to date.”
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