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Press Release

Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Maintaining Fictitious "SuperPac," and Credit Card Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON – Christopher Richardson, 37, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to falsifying a report filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and credit card fraud, both felony offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Scott Moffit of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) – Cybercrime Investigations Division.

            According to court documents, in March of 2020, Richardson created an independent expenditure-only political action committee, or “SuperPAC,” named Americans for Progressive Action USA (AFPA) using fictitious names for AFPA’s treasurer and designated agent. Richardson then filed a falsified quarterly report with the FEC claiming that AFPA had raised $4.8 million. Several weeks later, he filed a report of expenditures that falsely claimed that the SuperPAC spent over $1.5 million to purchase advertisements and media production opposing certain candidates for the United States Senate.  AFPA’s quick fundraising and spending attracted media scrutiny, questioning the veracity of the FEC reports. Richardson then filed another FEC report that falsely stated that AFPA has refunded the non-existent $4.8 million in donations. For his knowing falsification of the FEC report claiming to make $1.5 million in expenditures, Richardson pleaded guilty to making a false entry in a record. He, separately, pleaded guilty to credit card fraud for the falsification of a credit card application using a stolen social security number. 

            U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2024. Richardson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the false entry count and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the credit card fraud count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the TIGTA Cybercrime Investigations Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Gold of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Ryan R. Crosswell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmed Baset of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated February 29, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-192