Former Philadelphia Judge Pleads Guilty to Causing False Statements to the Federal Election Commission
A former Municipal Court Senior Judge pleaded guilty to a criminal information unsealed yesterday charging him with causing false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in connection with a 2012 congressional primary election. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania made the announcement.
According to the plea memorandum filed today, Jimmie Moore, 66, of Philadelphia, engaged in a falsification scheme involving payments to his 2012 campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for member of the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the plea memorandum, those payments came from the campaign committee of Moore’s political opponent for the purpose of removing Moore from the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District.
As set forth in the criminal information and the government’s plea memorandum, Moore admitted that in or about February 2012, he withdrew from the primary election pursuant to an agreement with his opponent, who promised to pay Moore $90,000 from his campaign funds to be used to repay Moore’s campaign debts. According to the plea memorandum, those payments were made to Moore’s campaign manager, Carolyn Cavaness, 34, of Philadelphia, and to an entity created for the purpose of repaying the Moore campaign’s outstanding debts to its vendors. Those payments were routed through consulting companies to conceal their true source.
According to the plea memorandum, Cavaness, acting at Moore’s direction, used the money from Moore’s opponent’s campaign committee to repay the campaign vendors and to reimburse Moore for loans he had made to his own campaign. However, Moore’s campaign failed to disclose this information to the FEC. Instead, Moore knowingly and intentionally caused his campaign committee to file false reports with the FEC which did not disclose or reference the funds received from his opponent’s campaign committee, did not mention the companies of the political consultants through which the payments were routed, and falsely listed the same debts owed by Moore’s campaign that had been disclosed on earlier reports, despite the fact that those debts had been repaid using funds paid to Moore by his opponent’s campaign committee. According to the plea memorandum, Moore and Cavaness knowingly and intentionally caused his campaign to file these false reports in order to conceal from the FEC the fact that Moore’s opponent’s campaign committee had made the payments to Moore’s campaign in excess of the statutory contribution limit in exchange for the defendant’s agreement to withdraw from the primary election.
Cavaness previously pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging her with causing false statements to the FEC in connection with this scheme.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Gibson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Jonathan Kravis of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.