Department of Justice Seal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CRM THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 1997 (202) 616-2777 TDD (202) 514-1888 MICHAEL A. BROWN AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO CAMPAIGN FINANCING VIOLATION Second Charges Brought By Campaign Finance Task Force WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department's Campaign Finance Task Force today filed a criminal information charging Michael A. Brown, 32, the son of the late Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown, with making $4,000 in illegal contributions to the 1994 federal re-election campaign of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Today's charges are the second set brought by the Task Force -- which now numbers more than 90 lawyers and agents -- since its creation in the Fall of 1996. On May 21, 1997, the Task Force filed criminal complaints against Nora T. and Gene K.H. Lum with a felony conspiracy to make $50,000 in illegal campaign contributions to 1994 Congressional campaigns. Their daughter, Trisha C. Lum, was also charged the same day with a misdemeanor violation in a separate campaign finance incident. Today's misdemeanor information was filed pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. The plea is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. today before U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina. The FECA limits the amount of money that a person can contribute to a federal candidate in an election, and a contributor cannot evade this limitation by giving money through another person. As described in papers filed by federal prosecutors, after contributing the maximum allowable amount to the 1994 Kennedy campaign in his own name, Michael Brown made $4,000 in additional contributions to the Kennedy campaign in the names of three other unnamed persons, by requesting contributions from them and reimbursing them for the amounts of their contributions. The funds for these unlawful contributions were provided to Brown by Nora and Gene Lum, who previously pled guilty to arranging unlawful campaign contributions to the Kennedy campaign. As part of the plea agreement, Brown has agreed to cooperate in the investigation. The offense to which Michael Brown agreed to plead guilty carries a maximum penalty of one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000. This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Raymond N. Hulser and Jonathan Biran of the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division. The investigation was begun by the Office of Independent Counsel Daniel S. Pearson and transferred by Independent Counsel Pearson to the Public Integrity Section in May 1996, following the death of Secretary Brown. This case subsequently became part of the continuing investigation being conducted by the Criminal Division's Campaign Finance Task Force, under the direction of the Public Integrity Section, into a wide range of matters arising from campaign fund-raising activity during the 1992-96 federal election cycles. The Justice Department's Criminal and Tax Divisions continue to investigate matters transferred to them by Independent Counsel Pearson. Copies of the plea agreement, the factual basis for the plea, and the criminal information will be available for messenger pick- up at the Office of Public Affairs. ### 97-352