FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 21, 2012
For Information Contact:
Two Lobbying Firms Agree to Pay Total of $80,000 in Fines
For Violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act
- Firms Repeatedly Failed to Meet Reporting Requirements -
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has reached settlements with two lobbying firms for repeated violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Lussier, Gregor, Vienna & Associates, an Alexandria, Va. lobbying firm, will pay a civil penalty of $50,000 in order to resolve allegations that it repeatedly failed to file lobbying and contribution disclosure reports required by the LDA. In addition, in a separate and unrelated matter, the Da Vinci Group, a lobbying firm with offices in Leesburg, Va, and Washington, D.C., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $30,000 in order to resolve allegations that it repeatedly failed to file lobbying and contribution disclosure reports.
The settlements were reached after the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate referred both firms to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has the unique responsibility of enforcing the LDA and its reporting requirements. The office notifies all of the referred firms and individuals that they must comply with the LDA and informs them of potential civil and criminal penalties. The majority of lobbyists referred to the office come into compliance by filing the required reports.
Last year, WayPoint Consulting, a lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C., agreed to pay a $45,000 civil penalty in order to resolve similar claims. Waypoint Consulting, Lussier, Gregor, Vienna & Associates and the Da Vinci Group have now complied fully with their outstanding and ongoing reporting obligations.
“The American people deserve to know who is spending money to lobby our Congress,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “When lobbyists fail to report their activities, they deprive the public of crucial information and undermine confidence in the legislative process. The lobbying firms that have recently been penalized are now in compliance, but their experiences should be instructive to other lobbyists. If you are a repeat offender who fails to take your reporting obligations seriously, we will seek to hold you accountable in order to protect the public’s right to know who is seeking to influence policy on Capitol Hill.”
In announcing the agreements, U.S. Attorney Machen, praised the work of Paralegal Specialist Cheryl Brown, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Short, who handled the Lussier, Gregor, Vienna & Associates matter, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Russell, who handled the referral involving the Da Vinci Group.