David Rivera either has balls the size of snow globes or he lacks the part of the human brain that allows a man to take responsibility for his actions. Until recently, Rivera was under investigation by three separate agencies: the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service. He was duly named one of America's "Most Corrupt" congressmen by the nonprofit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. But when the FDLE decided to close its 18-month-long case against the freshman Republican without filing charges, Rivera's response wasn't contrition or even clarification. It was a big, neon-lit eff-you. Rivera blasted the investigation as "fabricated lies." Never mind the copious evidence that he has lived off of nothing but an elaborate and shady web of campaign donations for the past ten years. Or the $1 million consulting deal he secretly organized in 2008 with Flagler Dog Track — now Magic City Casino — for a company owned by his mom. Maybe the reason behind Rivera's chutzpah is the fact that despite his outrageous record, he looks more and more likely to keep his seat this fall. No Republicans have challenged him. His first Democratic opponent, Luis Garcia, dropped out. Winning re-election as America's most corrupt politico? Now that's some balls.

In Ponzistan — as South Florida will someday be rechristened in the more honest history books — it takes something extra to stand out. Pyramid schemes are a dime a dozen; to get your face on Mount Ponzimore, you've got to bring it. Nevin Shapiro took down a university's sports program. Scott Rothstein demolished Broward's political system. And Allen Stanford? All he did was buy a house with a moat in Coral Gables for his mistress, snatch up virtually the entire Caribbean nation of Antigua, set himself up as a faux cricket baron, and blow through an $8 billion scheme from a headquarters in downtown's Miami Center. Stanford's crazy ride didn't end once he finally landed in prison in 2009 after his Ponzi scheme collapsed into rubble. While in custody, he was beaten to a pulp by another prisoner and required mental health assessments before his trial. Thankfully, in March a jury finally decided to put Stanford where he belongs — alongside Shapiro and Rothstein, rotting away in prison for decades — after convicting him on 13 of 14 fraud charges.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®