Larry Langford said today that he thinks he’s the target of a criminal probe. To that, I’d like to respond, “Duh!”
Larry and Bill Blount, Chairman of a Montgomery-based investment firm, showed up in Miami last week to respond to an SEC (that’s Securities and Exchange Commission, not Southeastern Conference) subpoena but refused to answer questions. Each of them cited some unspecified constitutional right to avoid giving testimony under oath.
In a 21-page document filed with the U.S. District Court in Florida, the SEC states that its staff “is investigating whether any persons or entities, including but not limited to Langford and Blount, committed violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws relating to the offer, purchase or sale of Jefferson County, Alabama, municipal bonds or security-based swap agreements.”
Langford, as [former Jefferson County] commission president, was “instrumental in selecting participants in county bond and swap transactions during the relevant time period. The staff intends to question Langford about, among other things, his activity in connection with those transactions and the source and nature of certain payments he received. This is certainly relevant to whether anyone, including Langford, violated the securities laws in connection with these bond and swap transactions,” the filing states.
“The staff intends to question Blount, among other things, about his role in these transactions and the aforementioned payments to Langford,” the document says. “Again, this is obviously relevant to whether anyone, including Blount, violated securities laws in connection with these bond and swap transactions.”
The SEC says Langford and Blount may be within their rights to refuse to testify if they’re taking the Fifth, but they’ll have to say so — and they must do so personally, not through their attorneys.
So yeah, I think Larry may be on to something. He’s not worried, though.
“I’d be a liar if I said no,” Langford said, “but the fact of the matter is I’m not scared.”
…”I did not need to cite the Fifth Amendment,” Langford said today. “From now on, I’ll listen to my lawyers and let them handle it.”
He’s going to listen to someone else? Mark the date, people. This might be a first. And it just might be time to inaugurate a “Larry Watch” category.