Sarasota, Florida --He has survived a House Ethics Committee Investigation, a federal Elections Commission Investigation and a Justice Department Criminal Investigation, but now there are more allegations against Sarasota Congressman Vern Buchanan and these are coming from his former Chief Financial Officer.
Allegations against Buchanan have been surfacing for years prompting all those investigations, but now through documents and testimony provided to the Internal Revenue Service, if they are true, raise questions about the Sarasota congressman.
According to Sal Rosa, who worked as the CFO for Buchanan's auto dealerships, "You have underlying fraud and crimes here committed by Vern."
The charges come in a videotaped deposition where, among other things, Rosa says, "Vern had some illegal aliens staying at the property."
Rosa, who is not the first former employee to make this charge, says the use of illegal workers cost Buchanan hopes of being an ambassador during the Bush administration before Buchanan was elected to Congress.
According to Rosa, "Vern couldn't stand a background check with all the illegal aliens running around."
Rosa, who is testifying in a lawsuit involving a former Buchanan partner, says the congressman had bigger problems: he illegally reimbursed employees who contributed to his campaign as well as illegally took business deductions for his airplane, and avoided paying taxes he owed on his yacht.
In the deposition, Rosa looks at the camera and says "I took the position then and still take the position and this is tax fraud.
While Buchanan has avoided talking about several allegations made by former employees, his attorney Mark Ornstein says:
"These are false and outrageous allegations made by an employee who was fired amid charges of sexual harassment by multiple women. These bogus claims were reviewed and dismissed by federal investigators who completely exonerated Vern."
However, during his deposition Rosa denied any sexual harassment charges against him and says there is nothing in his personnel file to indicate that. In addition, Rosa points out he is an IRS whistle blower who detailed pages of alleged Buchanan wrongdoing.
Rosa says he told the IRS, "Vern was essentially operating a financial Ponzi scheme where he took money of one dealership to invest in another dealership to invest in another dealership." According to the former CFO, "You had the same capital reported three times."
And if Rosa's allegations about the money being transferred from dealership to dealership are true, Rosa says that means the loan applications submitted by the Buchanan dealerships to get loans for new car agencies would be fraudulent and says that's a federal crime.
Actually, Rosa says the money movement involved several federal crimes, "So you've got bank fraud, you've got mail fraud you've got repeated use of the mails and now it is a racketeering offense."
Although Vern Buchanan and his attorney say the congressman has been cleared of all charges, Rosa insists the IRS -- which never confirmed an open investigation -- is still investigating.
But keep in mind there have been serious allegations the congressman before and he has always been cleared.
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