The number of lawmakers who may have taken trips to Antigua and Barbuda backed by alleged billion-dollar fraudster Allen Stanford just keeps getting bigger.
According to congressional travel disclosure reports posted on the Legistorm website, between 2003 and 2005 several members of Congress or their aides took trips to the island nation that were financed by the Inter-American Economic Council.
Among the lawmakers current or former: Bob Ney (R-OH), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Max Sandlin (D-TX), Donald Payne (D-NJ), John Sweeney (R-NY), Phil Crane (R-IL), and Gregory Meeks (D-NY).
Aides to Ney, Sessions, Sandlin, and Tom DeLay (R-TX) also soaked up the Antiguan sun.
Stanford is closely tied to the IAEC. In 2006, he received the organization's "Excellence in Leadership" Award. A press release
put out by the group declared that Stanford "has strongly supported the work that the IAEC is doing in Latin America and the Caribbean."
There's no firm evidence that Stanford paid for all these lawmakers' trips. But he certainly seems to have been a major financial backer and ally of the outfit that did.
We've called the IAEC to ask about its ties to Stanford and will let you know what we find out.