By the early 1990s, Mezvinsky settled into practice as an attorney, while his wife Marjorie Margolis-Mezvinsky began her own political career after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 13th District.1 During this time, Mezvinsky, still a practicing attorney, also moved into international business and finance, mostly within Africa. In 2001, U.S. federal prosecutors charged that Mezvinsky’s business dealings in West Africa were fraudulent. After filing for bankruptcy, Mezvinsky pleaded guilty to felony charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud. At his trial, Mezvinsky’s attorney, with support from medical experts, argued that his personal judgement became impaired during his time in Africa due to a reaction brought on by an over-use of an anti-malarial drug. He served five years in a federal prison camp at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida.2
Upon his release from federal prison, Mezvinsky moved to Buffalo, New York to be close to family. After arriving in Buffalo, Mezvinsky devoted himself to studying his Jewish faith and took on a role as a scholar in residence at nearby Jewish Community Center. With a renewed interest in public service, Mezvinsky began to work with Jericho Road Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center in Buffalo that provides medical care, housing assistance, and educational opportunities to under-served communities. Since 2015, Mezvinsky has served as a “patient advocate” for Jericho Road Community Health Center and its global outreach program, which provides medical services to Sierra Leone, Congo, and Nepal. Mezvinsky’s work in Africa and Asia, as well as in the city of Buffalo, has allowed him to rediscover and continue his interests in human rights and social welfare.3
- 1. Margolis-Mezvinsky served from 1993 to 1995.
- 2. Mike Kilen, “Whirlpool of Lies Swallows Mezvinsky,” Des Moines Register, 3 August 2003; Kurt F Stone, The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members (Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2010), 275.
- 3. Mezvinsky, Edward, interview with Mark Barron and Hilary Seo, 8 October 2018. Parks Library, Iowa State University. More information on Jericho Road and its outreach in Buffalo and around the world can be accessed at https://www.jrchc.org/.