Washington Post: Ex-lobbyist gets 27-month prison sentence

Written by admin on January 11th, 2011

While our focus is on legal lobbying and campaign contributions, the Washington Post’s story illustrates the volume of cash flowing that tempts some to break the few laws left regulating the process.

Washington Post

A federal judge imposed the sentence on Paul Magliocchetti, who for two decades ran a top lobbying shop that worked with executives of Magliocchetti’s defense contractor clients. The defense contractors hired the lobbyist for his influence with the late Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., and other key congressional players who earmarked funds for favored companies.

The business executives, Magliocchetti and his lobbying team provided millions of dollars in campaign donations over the years to House and Senate appropriators, who directed billions of dollars to the defense firms.

Magliocchetti admitted that he instructed members of his family, friends and lobbyists who worked for him to write checks out of their personal checking accounts to specific candidates for federal office and that Magliocchetti advanced funds to or reimbursed these individuals using personal and corporate funds.

“You knew what you were doing: enhancing the power and prestige of your lobbying organization,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told Magliocchetti.

Before Ellis imposed his sentence, the former lobbyist said, “I know that this is not a victimless crime” and he declared that he accepted responsibility for misconduct impacting his family, friends and employees at his lobbying firm. The firm went out of business after FBI agents raided Magliocchetti’s office in November 2008.

“Paul Magliocchetti spent half of a decade gaming the system,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement. “As today’s sentence makes clear, he must now pay a price.” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said Magliocchetti “carried out one of the largest federal campaign finance frauds in history,”

 

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