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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

Friday, January 9, 2015

Brian Foley Sentenced For Violating Federal Campaign Finance Laws

The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut and the United States Postal Inspection Service announced that BRIAN FOLEY, 63, of Simsbury, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to three years of probation, the first three months of which he must serve in a halfway house, for violating federal campaign finance laws.  FOLEY also was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000, and to pay the cost of his community confinement.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2011 and 2012, Foley’s wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley, was a candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District, and competing in a primary campaign for the nomination of the Republican Party.  As a candidate for federal office, Wilson-Foley and her associates formed and registered with the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) the “Lisa Wilson-Foley for Congress” committee in order to receive contributions and make expenditures on behalf of her campaign.

Brian Foley owns a Connecticut nursing home company and a number of other related companies, including a real estate company.

During the primary campaign, Foley, Wilson-Foley, former Connecticut Governor John Rowland and others conspired to conceal from the FEC and the public that Rowland was paid money in exchange for services he provided to Wilson-Foley’s campaign.  As part of the scheme, Rowland proposed to Foley and Wilson-Foley that he be hired to work on the campaign.  Wilson-Foley wanted Rowland to work on the campaign, but believed that because Rowland was a previously convicted felon, public disclosure of his paid role in the campaign would result in substantial negative publicity for Wilson-Foley’s candidacy.  In order to retain Rowland’s services for the campaign while reducing the risk that his paid campaign role would be disclosed to the public, Foley, Wilson-Foley and Rowland agreed that Rowland would be paid by Foley to work on the campaign.

Foley, Rowland and others created and executed a fictitious contract outlining an agreement purportedly for consulting services between Rowland and the law offices of an attorney who worked for Foley’s nursing home company.  Foley made regular payments to Rowland for his work on behalf of Wilson-Foley’s campaign and routed those payments from his real estate company through the law offices of the attorney.  Rowland provided nominal services to Foley’s nursing home company in order to create a “cover” that he was being paid for those nominal services when, in fact, he was being paid in exchange for his work on behalf of Wilson-Foley’s campaign.

Between September 2011 and April 2012, Rowland was paid approximately $35,000 for services rendered to Wilson-Foley’s campaign.  The payments originated with Foley and constituted campaign contributions, but were not reported to the FEC in violation of federal campaign finance laws.

In sentencing FOLEY below the recommended sentencing guidelines, Judge Arterton credited FOLEY’s extensive cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

On March 31, 2014, Foley and Wilson-Foley each pleaded guilty to conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions.

On September 19, 2014, a jury found Rowland guilty of two counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation, one count of conspiracy, two counts of causing false statements to be made to the FEC, and two counts of causing illegal campaign contributions.

Wilson-Foley and Rowland await sentencing.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Liam Brennan and Christopher Mattei.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015