WASHINGTON – Former political fundraiser Thomas W. Noe was sentenced to 27 months in prison for conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions, causing a false statement to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and knowingly and willfully making $45,400 in illegal campaign contributions to President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White of the Northern District of Ohio announced today.
Noe, who pleaded guilty on May 31, 2006, was sentenced by the Hon. David A. Katz of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, in Toledo. Judge Katz also imposed a fine of $136,200 and two years of supervised release.
At his plea hearing, Noe admitted that in October 2003, he made contributions to Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. over and above the limit established by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Noe admitted disguising these contributions by recruiting and providing money to friends and associates who then used Noe’s money to make contributions in their own names. Noe contributed $45,400 of his own money through 24 such conduits. To avoid suspicion, he gave several conduits checks in amounts slightly less than the maximum allowable amount and instructed several conduits to falsely characterize his payments to them as loans.
Noe pleaded guilty to each of the three counts in an indictment. The first count charged Noe with conspiring to violate the FECA’s anti-conduit provision by making contributions in the names of others, and with conspiring to fraudulently disrupt and impede the public disclosure and enforcement responsibilities of the FEC. The second count charged Noe with a substantive violation of the FECA’s anti-conduit provision, and the third count charged him with causing the submission of a false statement to the FEC. The false statement occurred when Noe caused Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. to unknowingly submit a campaign finance report listing the conduit donors as contributors when the contributions actually came from Noe.
“Today marks an important step in bringing Thomas Noe to justice. Noe flagrantly violated our nation’s campaign finance laws to further his personal ambitions and seriously undermined the public’s right to know how much money he was injecting into the political process. For these actions, he has been vigorously investigated, aggressively prosecuted, and sentenced to a 27-month term of imprisonment that reflects the seriousness of his conduct,” stated U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth D. Uram and David O. Bauer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, which is headed by U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White, and Trial Attorney John P. Pearson of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, which is headed by Acting Section Chief Edward C. Nucci. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.