NC 11th district Congressman Charles Taylor, famed for his disappearing vote against CAFTA, has won a Golden Galaxy Award from the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for furthering economic relations between the two countries.
No mention of the award at Taylor's website. Maybe that's because many North Carolinians are not impressed by Taylor's business dealings in Russia, where his partner is a former KGB officer.
According to the News & Observer (8/22/2000), "Taylor's closest associate in Russia - the man who has introduced him to business partners there - is Boris Bolshakov, a former Soviet KGB colonel.
"Bolshakov later worked as a senior officer in a bank that has been identified by US authorities as a participant in an alleged international multibillion-dollar money-laundering scheme."
Last year (8/29/04) the Charlotte Observer reported on ethical questions facing Taylor, including unpaid taxes and a staffer's sweet lobbying deal -- and also the wealthy Congressman's Russian connections. "Eyebrows were also raised when Taylor's bank acquired a bank in Russia in September 2003.
"A U.S. congressman with his own bank in the former Soviet Union?"
In August of this year, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Taylor "has spent $25,0000 in taxpayer money since the end of 1999 visiting Russia seven times."
A former president of Taylor's Blue Ridge Savings Bank has been convicted of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, but Taylor was not charged, reports the Asheville paper.