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June 20, 2007

Thomas Ravenel

Thomas Ravenel, the State Treasurer of South Carolina, has been indicted on federal drug charges:

South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, a former real estate developer and rising political star, was indicted Tuesday on federal cocaine charges.

The millionaire is accused of buying less than 500 grams of cocaine to share with other people in late 2005, U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said. Mr. Ravenel, 44, is charged with distribution of cocaine, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Mr. Ravenel is also the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.

Mr. Giuliani's campaign sent out a prepared statement saying Mr. Ravenel had stepped down. Giuliani spokesman Elliott Bundy said he did not know when Mr. Ravenel stepped aside.

The investigation into Mr. Ravenel arose from a drug case last year in Charleston, Lloyd said. State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said his agents were aware of the allegations before Mr. Ravenel was elected in November. The case was turned over to the FBI on April 1 "when the investigation reached a certain level," Mr. Stewart said.

South Carolina agents turned the investigation over to the FBI because Mr. Ravenel is in charge of handling state financial decisions, Mr. Stewart said.

Half a kilo? But, but, that's enough to keep the entire Shadow Cabinet going for, well, weeks! Heavy duty stuff, eh?

I doubt very much there'll be any blow back on the Giuliani campaign although it does make one wonder a little about the State Republican machine. Surely people knew not just that this case was in the works but also that he was distributing cocaine?  It's a long time since I was involved in such stuff but aren't we talking about 4,000 or so hits here (1/8 th of a gramme being the usual?)...if some wannabe politician is handing out that much nose candy wouldn't you expect, or at least hope that, those checking candidates running for a political party would pick that up?

Actually, re Giuliani, something for those who look to prediction markets.

As Ravenel was very close to the Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, this scandal could influence the betting odds on Giuliani's campaign. The British online betting website Bet365 has been offering odds on Rudy Giuliani to win the 2008 Presidential Elections at 4/1, making him the favorite among the Republican candidates to win. Although there is no word yet from the oddsmaker, it is most likely that the Ravenel cocaine scandal would change the odds negatively for Giuliani.

Anyone who is a member there want to check and see if the odds have moved?

Something from within the State about Ravenel's background:

Welcome to the machine. Thomas Ravenel, state treasurer and big-time connected Republican in South Carolina, has been indicted for cocaine trafficking.

Nevermind that Ravenel has more money than God, and never had to sell drugs. His family has been in high cotton for the past 200 years. But he did it, and SLED (State Law Enforcement Division) has been tailing his ass since 2005, gathering enough information to put him in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

What does this mean? I would hope it means that the leadership of the South Carolina GOP is taken to task for letting this shit slide. For those in the inner circle of the powerful, you know what guys are doing. To think that top people in the state party didn’t know what was happening is a joke. But, he was a Ravenel. You have to let it go, right? Nevermind that other people are going to jail for the same thing, but he’s a wealthy, white, male, politically powerful Republican.

I can't think what he could possibly be referring to, politicians not being subject to the same rules as the rest of us. Never happen here, would it?

Here's how the newspapers reported it:


And a photo:


On Tuesday 26th his father reported that Thomas Ravenel is a cocaine addict:

The father of indicted South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel says his son has a drug problem and is in "pretty bad shape."

Arthur Ravenel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that "We suspected it."
The 44-year-old Ravenel was indicted last week on a federal drug charge. Prosecutors say he bought less than 500 grams of cocaine to share with other people.
Arthur Ravenel says he hadn't seen much of his son since he took office as treasurer in January. But he says he had heard rumors about his son's problems, and also says he was really concerned about his son because he had been depressed from time to time, which he says is unusual.

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NB the *charge* is "buying less than 500g of cocaine for distribution", so the *crime* could be buying anything from 1g to 499g.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least if all the guy did was to buy a couple of grams and hand out lines at his birthday party.

Normally, imposing prison time on someone who passed around lines for their friends would be obviously insane - but here, the fact that Mr Ravanel has doubtless voted in favour of imposing the same barbaric punishment on others gives it a little ironic piquancy.

Posted by: john b | Jun 20, 2007 1:33:59 PM

Some thoughts from my time working for Thomas are posted on my blog....


Posted by: Marlaina Abbott-Ross | Jun 20, 2007 6:02:12 PM

Thomas Ravenel is a good guy and has worked hard to establish his position in business and in politics legitimately so you can not take that credit from him regardless of this case. "All" of you haters have done something in your life- time that you would not want the media to expose regardless of your political party, race or economic class and definitely you have broken the law in some area of law where had you been caught it would have been a minor offense or major offense. You should think about the possibilities of yourself and your family, friends or your children or future children who may one day make a bad decision among a liftime of many good decisions. Would you want to be condemed so righteously as you are condeming Thomas! I went to school with Thomas for years and I have been a life-time friend who does not use drugs and he is a good person who made a lapse in a judgment not a life of bad judgments but a life where his has contributed greatly to the community. This is an opportunity for people as well as children to see that even the best of us sometimes make bad choices and we have consequences sometimes for these decisons but we can still be successful and learn from these decisions. This is an opportunity for demonstrating that we pick ourselves up and we change and we become an example of how we can become a better person for ourselves and for the community by dealing with our mistakes but overcoming them as well to be a better citizen and politican.

Posted by: Stefanie Martin | Jun 22, 2007 9:45:15 PM

@ Stefanie Martin

Ha! I love how conservatives pull out this compassion for when their people get in trouble, but if a black guy in Five Points sold 100 grams of coke, I doubt he'd get the same consideration.

I hope T-Rav has a good time – in prison.

Posted by: Newspaper Hack | Jun 23, 2007 4:23:23 AM

As a political force, you could see Ravenel coming from a mile away. Here's a member in good standing of the protestant plutocracy who run this country. When such an individual decides to run for public office, money spontaneously generates. When Ravenel lost in his first run at public office, you knew, like George W. Bush, there would be available whatever money he needed for as many runs as it would take to gain public office. And once in office, he would do the bidding of Big Business and the wealthy, the little guy be damned. What was particularly offensive were his commercials which played heavily on the tried and true populist theme God, family and country. I have no sympathy for the fix he created for himself and the hypocrisy inherent in this family values advocate and law and order guy taking cocaine. The thing is, the hoi polloi, the rank and file, the average Joe will learn nothing from this and continue to vote for these polished liars whose true agenda is about as anti-populist as is possible.

Posted by: Alan Glasser | Jun 24, 2007 3:59:44 AM

"The millionaire is accused of buying less than 500 grams of cocaine to share with other people in late 2005."

This sentence could leave one to believe that 500 grams is not a lot of coke. Unfortunately it is as defined by the law. In street language we're talking about approx. 166.67 or 167 "eight balls" which depending on where you live could cost between $100 to $300 per 8 ball or $17k to $50k. I don't know about you but I live in the top 5% of the wage earners and I don't know many friends that give away $50k to their friends for shits and grins.

Posted by: Johnny Smoke | Jun 29, 2007 7:45:02 AM

Let's see, Ravenel has been indicted on "Cocaine Distribution", he wants a smaller boat to traverse the creeks around Edisto Island, and he is cozy with the (DNR) Department of Natural Resources. Hummn. Why is he pulling favors with DNR?

Posted by: DNR | Jul 6, 2007 12:56:33 AM

I suppose that nobody in the republican party will accept "amnesty" for this guy. We know how they feel about that! I'm waiting for the outrage about scooter's amnesty, too. Waiting.......

Posted by: cathy | Jul 12, 2007 12:42:02 AM


1441 Main Street, Suite 500 * Columbia, SC 29201 * (803) 929-3000*

June 19, 2007

(803) 929-3000


Columbia, South Carolina —- United States Attorney REGINALD I. LLOYD stated today that South Carolina State Treasurer THOMAS RAVENEL, age 44, of Charleston, along with another man, MICHAEL L. MILLER, age 25, of Mt. Pleasant, were charged in one-count Indictment this afternoon with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

The Indictment reads as follows:


That beginning at a time unknown to the grand jury, but beginning at least in or around late 2005, and continuing thereafter, up to and including the date of this Indictment, in the District of South Carolina, the defendants, THOMAS RAVENEL and MICHAEL L. MILLER, knowingly and intentionally did combine, conspire and agree together and have tacit understanding with each other and others, both known and unknown to the grand jury, to knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possess with intent to distribute and to distribute a quantity of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C);

All in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

Mr. Lloyd stated the maximum penalty RAVENEL and MILLER could receive is a fine of $1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment of 20 years.

Mr. Lloyd stated that the case was investigated by agents of the FBI and SLED, and that he has assigned the case to Assistant United States Attorney William Witherspoon of the Columbia office for prosecution.

Mr. Lloyd stated that all charges in this Indictment are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The Indictment reads as follows:

You can try to sugar coat an indictment if you want to, but “Cocaine Distribution” IS “Cocaine Distribution” IT IS,WHAT IT IS!

Posted by: Indictment | Jul 14, 2007 12:56:28 PM

The federal mandatory sentencing for first offenders is 500 grams or more for a 5 year mandatory sentence.

Under SC law 44-53-370

between 400-500 grams of cocaine is a mandatory sentence for first time offender of no less then 25 years and up to 30 years.
Gee… I wonder why SLED bowed out…

SLED investigates and brings charges, Ravenel gets 25 years… FBI investigates and brings charges, Ravenel doesn’t meet mandatory sentencing.

Posted by: Geez | Jul 14, 2007 12:59:16 PM

I'm Bruce I use my real name in Yahoo Mail although I know I don't have to.
Throughout most of last year I worked at the FBO (Owens Field) where Andre Bauer kept his Moony Aircraft. I helped Azalia Leonhardt pull out his aircraft many times.

What's not known about this story is it's NOT Andre Bauer's first mishap. In August of last year I was attending to the Athletic departments King Air on an early afternoon flight when I was watching an aircraft on approach. As it got close I looked in horror as I noticed the landing gear was UP!

I quickly got on the FBO's radio and called to the person at the line desk,AIRCRAFT LANDING NO GEAR DOWN! NO GEAR DOWN?. At about 2 feet from touchdown Andre pulled up so heard the aircraft strike the runway. Both myself the Pilot from USC's Athletic department heard and saw the "Strike".
He (Andre Bauer) went around the landing pattern and this time safely landed. He taxied so fast down to his storage hanger he could have taken off again right then. Following this he locked his aircraft in the storage hanger and forbid anyone from seeing it or inspecting it.

Later that day both the Airport manager (Jim Hamilton) and the FBO manager Kelly Hamilton) told me this: "Andre Bauer's plane did not strike the runway!" (Wink Wink). even though I saw it do so and heard it too.

What bothers me is IF the Airport managers had reported the Aircraft Strike� according to the Law? this accident (yesterday) might not have happened after Andre Bauer got his pilots license pulled for not reporting the Aircraft Strike? in August himself.

Posted by: Bruce | Jul 20, 2007 4:26:56 AM

“Thomas Ravenel’s surprise resignation”…is a signal he won’t challenge the evidence against him…

“The U.S. Attorney’s office said Tuesday it had no idea Ravenel was going to resign”.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 25, 2007 1:33:16 PM

Published Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Beaufort real estate attorney charged with taking $2.35 million from a client signed an extradition waiver today and should be back in South Carolina within 10 days, according to authorities.

Michael Timothy Jordan, 45, who now lives in Charleston but has an office on Lady’s Island, was arrested Friday morning at the Canadian border trying to get back into the United States, police said. Jordan’s wife reported him missing Wednesday night after he didn’t show up in the Edisto area on his 15-foot boat, launching an 18-hour Coast Guard search and rescue mission.

He faces charges of breach of trust with fraudulent intent by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for taking money from a Hollywood client that was meant for a real estate transaction and instead transferring the money to a different bank account for his personal use, according to an affidavit. Jordan told police at the border he used the money to pay off debts.

Jordan has been held in a Buffalo, N.Y., jail since his arrest, and today’s appearance in Erie County Court was the first chance he received to start the extradition process, Buffalo police said.

Posted by: abc | Aug 8, 2007 1:25:41 AM

Prosecutors said taxpayers paid for the sisters’ spending sprees, which included four homes in Edisto Beach, 10 luxury cars, boats, and expensive jewelry from New York and Alaska vacations.

C & D co-owner Charlene Corley, 46, was charged with wire fraud and money laundering and pleaded guilty to both Thursday. A sentencing date has not been set.

She was accused of bilking taxpayers by inflating shipping costs for Defense Department materials that cost a few dollars.

In one example, C & D collected $998,798 to ship two 19-cent bolt washers, court documents show.

Corley’s twin sister, Darlene Wooten, shot herself Oct. 2 after Defense Department investigators confronted her with evidence of a nine-year scheme that included billing the Pentagon for $71.6 million in shipping costs.

Posted by: Edisto Beach | Aug 22, 2007 5:48:31 AM

Third man indicted with Ravenel on cocaine charges
By RICK BRUNDRETT - [email protected]
A third person has been indicted along with former state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel on a federal charge of conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine, according to an amended indictment issued this afternoon.

The defendant was identified as Pasquale Pellicoro, though no other identifying information about him or details about his alleged crime were presented in the indictment. A grand jury meeting in U.S. District Court in Columbia issued the amended indictment, known as a superseding indictment.

Federal prosecutors and Ravenels attorneys could not be immediately reached for comment.

Ravenel, Pellicoro and a third defendant, Michael L. Miller, 25, of Mount Pleasant, each is charged with conspiring to possess and distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The amended indictment also charges Miller with eight new counts of possession with intent to distribute and distributing less than 500 grams of cocaine from Sept. 20, 2005, through Jan. 3, 2006.

Posted by: Third Man Indicted | Aug 22, 2007 10:08:50 PM

Charleston Post & Courier - Around the Globe Wine Tasting: Romania. Wine expert Pasquale Pellicoro will host a wine tasting featuring wines from Romania. The tasting will include at least four wines accompanied by the country's traditional hors d'oeuvres. $10 per person. 5:30-7
Source: www.charleston.net
Wine: French revision
Worldnews.com - Promotion not protection will save France's ailing industry The storming of the Bastille 218 years ago this week is just one of the many revolts that pepper France's often heated history . Revolutionary spirit is still strong - France's president

Posted by: France | Aug 22, 2007 10:54:08 PM

It's about time white amercians start getting in trouble. I knew blacks wasn't the only ones who sell drugs. And he suppose to be the big guy, i bet you he is not the only one who is doing. he just got caught. Because if america really want to blame someone for the drugs well they should blame the white amercians such as the treasure who black guys get their products from anyway. And then to cover them self up they gie up the black guys to cop a better plea. I wonder what he is really going to do I bet you he want do no more than 2 years, b/c he is white. he might even get probation for that time. quit slapping these white guys on the hands for their crimes and stop throwing our black guys in jail for the same crime with double sentences. and if i dont like the justice if this case i will bring it national like jena. but this world really needs is jesus. whites, blacks, asians, etc you better get to know him.

Posted by: Michelle Little | Oct 16, 2007 5:58:05 PM