WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) — A Washington businessman was charged Monday with funneling more than $2 million illegally to local and federal political campaigns.
Prosecutors said in a 10-page charging document Jeffrey E. Thompson, 58, subverted campaign laws for many years. The charges began with alleged improprieties in the 2010 campaign of Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, but expanded in scope, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The charges against Thompson are outlined in court papers that are only filed in felony cases with the defendant’s request, a signal that a plea deal may be near.
Thompson is charged with one count each of conspiring to break federal and local campaign finance laws during a six-year period through illegal contributions and off-the-books spending totaling over $2 million.
His associates have identified him as the financier of an illegal campaign on Gray’s behalf and as organizer of secret contributions to other candidates, the newspaper said.
As Gray seeks election to a second term in 2014, a Washington Post poll found more than 40 percent of Democrats said the investigation of campaign contributions will factor into how they vote.
Court papers filed Monday show Thompson spent about $278,000 on the 2006 mayoral election of Democrat Linda W. Cropp, smaller amounts on the election of council member Michael Brown in 2007 and 2008, $140,000 on council member Jeff Smith and $26,000 on council member Kelvin Robinson in 2010 and spent $148,146 for councilman-at-large Vincent Orange in 2011. None of the contributions was reported, as required by law.