PHILADELPHIA ,AP, - Edward M. Mezvinsky, a former congressman from Iowa, was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison Thursday for defrauding business associates, friends and family - including his mother-in-law - of millions of dollars. Mezvinsky's
actions were due in part to side-effects of an anti-malaria drug were rejected.
'Whatever impairment Mr. Mezvinsky
may have had - and I am dubious in the extreme about that - it simply did not contribute to the ... crimes which took place over 12 years,' Dalzell said.
, 65, and his wife, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, who also served in Congress, were once high-profile Democrats in suburban Philadelphia who hobnobbed with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Prosecutors said Mezvinsky
began soliciting cash for fraudulent schemes in the 1980s and eventually collected millions for business ventures that never materialized, including an oil deal, a coin trading company and an effort to sell bracelets in Africa.
In the meantime, Mezvinsky fell victim to several Nigerian investment scams and lost much of his
borrowed money. He
pleaded guilty to 31 counts of fraud in September.
Federal prosecutors called Mezvinsky
a con man who faked mental illness to avoid punishment.They asked for nine to 11 years in prison. Mezvinsky
served in Congress from 1973 to 1977, representing his
home state of Iowa.He served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach President Nixon. He later became an ambassador to a U.N. commission and Pennsylvania Democratic Party chairman.He also ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1980 and Pennsylvania attorney general in 1988. His
legal troubles began in 2000 and stalled the political career of his
wife, who served a term in Congress and ran unsuccessfully for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor in 1998.She
dropped out of a Senate run in 2000.