Charles Keating, the convicted financier who donated to the campaigns of five U.S. Senators in return for favoritism for his embattled construction company in the 1980's, has died at the age of 90, according to ABC News, on April 1.
Keating used his Arizona construction company, American Continental Corporation, to buy Lincoln Savings and Loan in 1984 and skyrocketed the company's value from $1.1 billion to over $5.5 billion in just four years. But then his world was shattered as he was convicted of defrauding clients out of over $200 million by selling them worthless junk bonds that were unsecured. Soon afterwards Keating's company went bankrupt.
Keating was convicted of corporate fraud and spent five years in prison; although his conviction was overturned in return for a plea deal. Nevertheless, Keating became a symbol of corporate greed and corruption.
Keating, who had a very expensive lifestyle, was facing investigations from federal regulators for fraud, cheating investors, and tax evasion. Feeling cornered and confused as to which direction to go, Keating donated huge amounts of money to the re-election of five U.S. Senators, in return for personal appeals to federal regulators on his behalf. The Senators, who became known as The Keating Five, included: John McCain (R,Az), Alan Cranston (D,Ca), Donald Riegel, Jr. (D,Mi) and Dennis DeConcini (D,Az).
Cranston, who had been a Senator for three terms, was censored by the Senate and allowed to finish his term in return for agreeing not to run for another term. McCain later ran for President as the Republican Party nominee in 2008 and still remains in the United States Senate today.