Paul Magliocchetti, the founder of the now-defunct lobbying group PMA, has been indicted on eight federal charges for making illegal campaign contributions and false statements.
PMA, which closed down last year, was an influential defense lobbying group at the center of a scandal that threatened to take down at least seven Democratic lawmakers, including the late Rep. John Murtha, chair of the defense appropriations subcommittee. The House ethics committee last year cleared all the members of wrongdoing, and today’s indictment does not implicate any lawmakers.
For nearly five years from 2003 to 2008, according to the 18 page indictment, Magliocchetti concealed campaign contributions from the Federal Election Commission. The indictment does not allege wrongdoing by any lawmakers. PMA’s ties to lawmakers on the powerful House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending were scrutinized by ethics investigators and were cleared.
But Magliocchetti now faces criminal charges. In some instances, prosecutors allege, Magliocchetti directed family members to make contributions and then paid them back. He also recruited two acquaintances who lived near his Florida vacation home to write checks to candidates, court papers allege. Magliocchetti reimbursed them by writing personal checks or company checks or by putting them on PMA’s board of directors, even though they never worked as lobbyists and never attended board meetings, according to the indictment.
Magliocchetti also instructed the firm’s lobbyists to make political contributions, then repaid the employees with either personal or company funds, the indictment alleges.
The amount of money PMA steered to lawmakers is staggering. According to reports, PMA gave $1.75 million to just Murtha over three election cycles.
More on PMA and its shady dealings is here.