Tom Horne, Arizona Republican candidate for State Attorney General, is taking heat for his failure to report a previous bankruptcy when filing annual reports between 1997 and 2000 for his law firm. The forms, which must be filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission, ask whether any partner in the law firm had ever been a partner in a business that had declared bankruptcy. Horne checked the “no” box, then signed and submitted the forms.
But Horne was in fact the president of T.C. Horne and Company when that business went bankrupt in 1970. And three years after the bankruptcy, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sanctioned Horne, saying that his company, “aided and abetted by Horne, among other things, violated the record-keeping, anti-fraud, and broker-dealer net capital provisions of the federal securities laws and filed false financial reports with the commission.” The charges eventually led to a lifetime trading ban against Horne by the SEC.
Horne has stated that he didn’t think to admit to the bankruptcy because it happened forty years ago.
Andrew Thomas, a Republican running against Horne for the nomination, said that the cover up of the bankruptcy and the circumstances surrounding it should disqualify Horne from running for Arizona’s top law-enforcement job. According to Thomas, who is the former Maricopa County attorney, “the attorney general is the chief defender of the public when it comes to fraud and white-collar financial crimes. I’ve prosecuted plenty of con artists, and Tom Horne unfortunately falls on the other side of that list.”
For his part, Horne pointed out that Thomas is under investigation by the FBI for possible abuse of prosecutorial power in his handling of some criminal cases against two county supervisors and a Superior Court judge.
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