The scandal plagued former governor of New Mexico – who Virginia Roberts claimed she had underage sex with on Jeffrey Epstein’s orders – has been dragged into the mud once again.
Career politician Bill Richardson has been accused of raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks while in office – money which allegedly funded a luxury and debauched lifestyle including ‘sexual services and favors’, according to a recently unsealed legal complaint obtained by DailyMail.com.
According to the lawsuit, Richardson ran a scam dubbed the ‘Richardson Ring’ which saw the one-time governor benefiting from money he grafted from business investments into the state of New Mexico in the early 2000s.
The greedy politician lined his own pockets with cash, used some money to fund his political campaigns and organizations and also enjoyed lavish meals, wine and liquor as well as luxury travel and entertainment, the legal filing claims.
Richardson, 72, served as Governor for New Mexico from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2010 and during that time he was the chairman of the State Investment Council (SIC).
Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has been accused of running a scheme in which he raked in over $100k of dollars in bribes while in office
Richardson, 72, served as Governor for New Mexico from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2010
Richardson’s alleged ‘pay to play’ scheme was exposed by a man called Frank Foy and made public in unsealed court documents in January 2009.
His lifestyle allegedly included ‘sexual services and favors’ funded by the scam dubbed the ‘Richardson Ring’
The resulting public scandal forced the SIC to begin investigating kickbacks in state investment business and Richardson himself.
Now in a civil action filed in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, in May, but only unsealed last week, it’s alleged that Richardson oversaw a sophisticated cover up of his scheme.
The lawsuit claims that Governor Richardson was able to place his trusted ‘operatives’ in state government jobs to cover-up his wrongdoing.
The documents allege Richardson installed several key allies into the SIC to help cover his tracks and thwart any corruption probe.
The filing states: ‘So far, the defendants have succeeded in covering up Bill Richardson’s wrongdoing.
‘To date, upon information and belief, Bill Richardson has managed to evade being deposed under oath about his graft.’
It added: ‘As Governor, Bill Richardson controlled the hiring of all state employees in the executive branch. He used his control to carry out corruption, and to cover it up.’
The suit, the paperwork states, is brought on behalf of the State of New Mexico, Frank Foy and John Casey, under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, and seeks damages from Richardson and several of his alleged cohorts to repay the state the money they allegedly took.
The allegations will bring yet more unwanted attention on Richardson.
When approached for comment by DailyMail.com, Richardson’s office responded: ‘This lawsuit is ludicrous and unfounded. The allegations are baseless and politically motivated.’
According to a recently unsealed legal complaint obtained by DailyMail.com, Richardson used the money to fund a luxury and debauched lifestyle
In court documents in 2015 the once influential politician was accused of being involved with Jeffrey Epstein’s child trafficking ring.
Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre, named Richardson as being among a list of powerful men she was told to have sex with by Epstein and his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell.
Giuffre, now 37, filed a Florida lawsuit in 2009 against Epstein stating she was a sex slave for him from 1999 to 2002
Giuffre later alleged that she had sex with British royal Prince Andrew three times and was forced to have sex with Richardson.
The court documents were unsealed to the public in 2019 and Prince Andrew and Richardson have vehemently denied the claims.
‘These allegations and inferences are completely false. Governor Richardson has never even been contacted by any party regarding this lawsuit. To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre.’
Giuffre alleges that she was ‘told to have sex’ with Richardson by Epstein and his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell.
Epstein, who died from suspected suicide in his jail cell in New York last year, owned the huge 10,000 acre Zorro Ranch in New Mexico where it’s believed he assaulted young girls and threw lavish parties for his powerful guests.
‘Ghislaine told me from her mouth to do these things,’ Giuffre said in a deposition.
‘Jeffrey told me from his mouth to do these things with these people. Ghislaine instructed me to do the things that I did with Jeffrey Epstein on the very first meeting that I had with him.’
Richardson, a career politician, was previously accused of having sex with Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts when she was underage
Roberts named Richardson among several others as men Ghislaine Maxwell told her to have sex with in court documents
Epstein, who died from suspected suicide in his jail cell in New York last year, owned the huge 10,000 acre Zorro Ranch in New Mexico where it’s believed he assaulted young girls and threw lavish parties for his powerful guests
When the allegations first emerged, Richardson, who served as US Ambassador to the United Nations from 1997-1998, and Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton from 1998-2000 as well as chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, said the claims were ‘completely false.’
In a statement issued to Fox News by his reps, it said: ‘Governor Richardson has never even been contacted by any party regarding this lawsuit.
‘To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls.
‘Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein’s residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre.’
Richardson hosted many powerful world leaders, including Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, as well as Mexico’s First Lady Margarita Zavala in 2009
The claims all date back to the early 2000s, which is also the same time that his co-accused Prince Andrew started doing business in New Mexico with Richardson as part of his role as the UK’s special trade envoy.
In October 2003, the prince’s trip to New Mexico was front page of the local newspaper, The Santa Fe New Mexican, with the royal and Richardson swapping presents – with the governor giving a black concho belt and receiving a wine coaster made by a cousin of the prince, according to the paper.
The pair talked about wanting to increase trade between Britain and New Mexico with the prince saying he ‘was honored to be here’.
They dined together that night at Richardson’s mansion, who told the paper that it was the third time he’d met the prince after meeting in 1999 in Turkey. ‘He happens to be my friend,’ Richardson added.