Lobbyist Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Role in Illegal Campaign Contribution Scheme
WASHINGTON – Paul Magliocchetti, the founder and president of PMA Group Inc., a lobbying firm, was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to a federal agency, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia; and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III also sentenced Magliocchetti to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $75,000 fine. Magliocchetti pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., on Sept. 24, 2010, to one count each of making false statements, making illegal conduit contributions and making illegal corporate contributions.
“Paul Magliocchetti spent half of a decade gaming the system. He concocted a massive scheme to secretly funnel money to political campaigns – all so that he could gain wealth and prestige,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. “As today’s sentence makes clear, he must now pay a price. We will continue to bring to justice those who hide the source of campaign funds and thus damage the integrity of our election process.”
“Mr. Magliocchetti carried out one of the largest federal campaign finance frauds in history,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “He learned that no one – despite wealth and influence – is above the law. Today’s sentence should put anyone on notice that if you seek to buy the influence of elected public officials through skirting the campaign finance laws you’ll not merely be exposed publicly but you’ll go to prison for a long time.”
“Enhancing one’s professional reputation by using colleagues, friends and even family to make illegal campaign contributions is dishonest; and Mr. Magliocchetti knew that his actions were against the law,” said James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “I am proud of the team of agents from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and FBI who worked on behalf of all Americans to investigate this blatant abuse of prestige and money. The public needs to trust that elections will not be influenced in this manner.”
He was charged in an indictment unsealed on Aug. 5, 2010. According to the indictment, Magliocchetti orchestrated a scheme to make illegal conduit and corporate federal campaign contributions in an effort to enrich himself and PMA by increasing the firm’s influence, power and prestige among the firm’s current and potential clients as well as among the elected public officials to whom PMA and its lobbyists sought access. The federal campaigns that received these funds were unaware of Magliocchetti’s scheme.
Magliocchetti admitted that, from 2003 through 2008, he used members of his family, friends and PMA lobbyists to make unlawful campaign contributions. Aware of the strict limits on individual federal campaign contributions – and the outright ban on corporate contributions – Magliocchetti admitted that he instructed the conduits to write checks out of their personal checking accounts to specific candidates for federal office and that, for the purpose of making these contributions, Magliocchetti advanced funds to or reimbursed these individuals using personal and corporate monies. Magliocchetti also admitted that, through this scheme, he caused various federal campaign committees to unknowingly create and file false reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) regarding the contributions they had received. These reports, which the FEC made available to the public, falsely stated that the conduits had made contributions, when in fact the contributions were made by Magliocchetti or PMA.
In connection with this investigation, Mark Magliocchetti pleaded guilty on Aug. 5, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge T. Rawles Jones Jr., in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to making illegal corporate campaign contributions. According to court documents, Mark Magliocchetti admitted to receiving payments from an individual and a company with the understanding that those monies were to be used for federal campaign contributions. According to court documents, the amount of contributions made by Mark Magliocchetti and his wife, and funded by the individual and the company, exceeded $120,000 but was less than $200,000. Mark Magliocchetti was sentenced to 14 days in prison plus five and a half months of home confinement.
This case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Justin V. Shur and Trial Attorneys M. Kendall Day and Kevin O. Driscoll of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark D. Lytle of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.