Jury convicts former Ohio House Speaker, former chair of Ohio Republican Party of participating in racketeering conspiracy
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has indicted the Ohio Speaker of the House in a federal racketeering conspiracy involving approximately $60 million paid to a 501(c)(4) entity to pass and uphold a billion-dollar nuclear plant bailout. The 43-page indictment was returned on July 29 and filed today.
Larry Householder, 61, of Glenford, Ohio, four other individuals and 501(c)(4) entity Generation Now were previously charged by a criminal complaint that was unsealed on July 21.
It is alleged that the enterprise conspired to violate the racketeering statute through honest services wire fraud, receipt of millions of dollars in bribes and money laundering.
The four other individuals indicted include:
Generation Now, a corporate entity registered as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, was also charged.
According to court documents, from March 2017 to March 2020, the enterprise received millions of dollars in exchange for Householder’s and the enterprise’s help in passing House Bill 6, a billion-dollar bailout that saved two failing, Ohio nuclear power plants from closing.
The defendants then also allegedly worked to corruptly ensure that HB 6 went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation. The Enterprise received approximately $60 million into Generation Now from an energy company and its affiliates during the relevant period.
As alleged, in February 2017, Longstreth incorporated Generation Now as a 501(c)(4) social welfare entity purporting to promote energy independence and economic development; however, the entity was secretly controlled by Householder. As Clark stated in a recorded conversation, “Generation Now is the Speaker’s (c)(4).” Pursuant to federal law, the names and addresses of contributors to 501(c)(4)s are not made available for public inspection.
In March 2017, Householder began receiving quarterly $250,000 payments from the related-energy companies into the bank account of Generation Now. The defendants allegedly spent millions of the company’s dollars to support Householder’s political bid to become Speaker, to support House candidates they believed would back Householder, and for their own personal benefit. When asked how much money was in Generation Now, Clark said, “it’s unlimited.”
The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint also alleges:
“Dark money is a breeding ground for corruption. This investigation continues,” U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said.
The racketeering conspiracy as charged in this case is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The case is being investigated by the FBI. Deputy Criminal Chief Emily N. Glatfelter, Assistant United States Attorney Matthew C. Singer, as well as Assistant Deputy Criminal Chief Timothy Mangan and Assistant United States Attorney Megan Gaffney Painter, are representing the United States in this case.
If you have information related to the public corruption alleged in this case, please contact the FBI at 614-849-1777.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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