Jeffrey E. Thompson Sentenced for Conspiring to Violate District of Columbia Campaign Finance Law
Businessman Earlier Admitted Secretly Spending Roughly $3.3 Million In Support of At Least Two Dozen D.C. and Federal Candidates
WASHINGTON - Jeffrey E. Thompson was sentenced today to three months of incarceration, to be followed by 90 days of home confinement, for his involvement in a scheme in which he and his companies secretly channeled about $3.3 million in illegal contributions to at least 28 political candidates and their campaigns.
The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, and Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
Thompson, 61, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on March 10, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to two felony charges. One was a federal offense: conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and to submit false filings to the Internal Revenue Service. The other was a District of Columbia offense: conspiring to violate District of Columbia campaign finance laws by defrauding the District of Columbia’s Office of Campaign Finance.
The plea agreement, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for the Court to dismiss the federal charge against Thompson at sentencing on the condition that he cooperate with a broader investigation into illegal campaign spending. The plea agreement limited the period of incarceration for the federal charge to a period of up to 18 months of incarceration. Because Thompson complied with his obligations under the plea agreement, the charge was dismissed today by the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.
The plea agreement limited the period of incarceration for the remaining District of Columbia offense to a maximum of six months of incarceration. In addition to periods of incarceration and home confinement, Judge Kollar-Kotelly ordered Thompson to pay the maximum $10,000 fine allowed by the District of Columbia offense. Also, following his prison time, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.
At sentencing today, the government noted that Thompson’s cooperation exposed a longstanding culture of corrupt spending in District of Columbia campaigns.
Thompson is the former chairman, chief executive officer, and majority owner of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates (TCBA), a corporation that provided accounting, management, consulting, and tax services. He also is the former chairman, chief executive officer, and owner of D.C. Healthcare Systems, Inc. (DCHSI), an investment holding and for-profit corporation. In his guilty plea, he admitted using funds from those corporations to secretly finance campaign contributions and activities from at least 2006 until 2012.
TCBA received millions of dollars under contracts with District of Columbia and federal government entities. DCHSI owned D.C. Chartered Health Plan, Inc. (Chartered), a corporation that contracted with the District of Columbia government to provide managed care services to a substantial number of District of Columbia residents. Chartered’s contract with the District of Columbia, paid primarily by the federal government, totaled about $300 million each year.
According to a statement of offense submitted at the time of Thompson’s guilty plea, Thompson secretly provided more than $1,445,000 for off-the-books, or “shadow campaigns,” on behalf of seven candidates seeking office in the District of Columbia from 2006 to 2011. The largest such amount was over $653,000 to pay for campaign activities of a candidate in the 2010 mayoral race. He also secretly spent more than $130,000 for a voter registration drive on behalf of one candidate and agreed to pay another candidate $200,000 - along with other benefits - to withdraw from the 2006 mayoral race. Thompson also entered into a $150,000 consulting agreement with the competing candidate on behalf of TCBA. Also, according to the statement of offense, between 2006 and 2011, Thompson utilized at least 75 conduits to make contributions to at least 15 mayoral and D.C. Council candidates in excess of $500,000.
From February 2008 through May 2008, according to the statement of offense, Thompson secretly channeled about $608,750 to fund a shadow campaign for a candidate running for President of the United States. Thompson also secretly provided $50,000 to help a civic organization pay for a lawsuit in Texas challenging the two-step voting process in that state, in which voters were allowed to vote twice, once in a primary and once in a caucus. He also provided $150,000 for a political demonstration organized by the civic organization in Washington, D.C. The funds for the lawsuit and the demonstration were to assist the campaign of the preferred presidential candidate. Also, between 2006 and 2012, Thompson utilized at least 32 conduits to make contributions to at least 13 federal candidates and a political action committee of at least $250,000.
In addition, after the federal investigation into campaign finance irregularities began in 2011, Thompson engaged in various efforts to obstruct the investigation.
Thompson is among 14 people who pled guilty to charges in a broader investigation related to federal and local political campaigns. He is among six defendants who pled guilty to offenses directly involving or connected to the 2010 District of Columbia mayoral election.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Abbate, and Special Agent in Charge Jankowski commended the work of those who investigated the case for the FBI and IRS-CI. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ellen Chubin Epstein and Lionel André, Criminal Investigators Mark Crawford and Melissa Matthews, and Paralegal Specialists Tasha Harris and Corinne Kleinman. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael K. Atkinson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan P. Hooks, who represented the government at sentencing.