The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the 5th Circuit solicitor's office are investigating the finances of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene to see whether any laws have been broken in the way he has been representing his financial situation to the state court system.
SLED will use a new state law that allows the agency to issue an administrative subpoena to financial institutions, agency director Reggie Lloyd confirmed Sunday.
Gov. Mark Sanford signed the new law last Thursday. The law requires banks to turn over to SLED basic information about account holders in cases of suspected financial wrongdoing.
The confirmation of the formal investigation into Greene's finances is the latest wrinkle in events surrounding Greene, who since winning the June 8 Democratic primary has attracted state and national attention.
Greene, 32, won 59 percent of the vote in an upset against Vic Rawl, a former circuit judge widely expected to trounce the unknown Greene. Greene was unemployed, had no job and no organized campaign and had been discharged "involuntarily" from the U.S. Army. He lived at home with his father in Clarendon County.
Greene's victory took on added strangeness when The Associated Press reported Greene was facing felony obscenity charges arising from a University of South Carolina student's allegation that he had harassed her with computer pornography. After that November charge, Greene told a magistrate he didn't have enough money to afford a lawyer and was appointed — at taxpayers' expense — a public defender. Greene has said he is innocent of the pornography charge.
Then, in March, Greene somehow came up with $10,400 in cash to pay the Democratic Party filing fee to run for U.S. Senate.
Lloyd said his agency's inquiry was triggered by inconsistencies between Greene's assertion to the court that he had no money and needed a taxpayer-supported lawyer, and his unexplained acquisition of $10,400 to pay the filing fee.
"We want to see how he came up with the money," Lloyd said.
Greene has told reporters that the $10,400 was money he had saved. But he declined to produce records to show where the money came from.
Fifth Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese, reached at home Sunday afternoon, confirmed his office was working with SLED. He declined further comment.
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