The founder and president of the lobbying firm PMA Group Inc. pleaded guilty on Friday to making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to a federal agency.
Paul Magliocchetti orchestrated a scheme to make illegal federal campaign contributions in an effort to enrich himself and PMA, according to the indictment.
After Magliocchetti was charged last month, there were reports that he planned to plead guilty due to a combination of factors, including the fact that his son and a number of members of his extended family might have been planning to testify against him.
Magliocchetti admitted in the court documents to using members of his family, friends, and PMA lobbyists to make $386,250.00 in illegal campaign donations and reimbursing those individuals using personal or corporate funds.
Before it closed last year, PMA was one of D.C.’s biggest lobbying firms, and was also at the center of a scandal over campaign donations to congressmen who had directed hundreds of millions of dollars to defense contractors.
Politicians which received the campaign donations, including the late Rep. John Murtha and Rep. Pete Visclosky, (D-Ind.), were unaware of the plans according to the Justice Department.
“This case is an important reminder to all who seek to evade the federal campaign finance laws that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorney General of DOJ’s Criminal Division.
“Americans should be confident that elections are not being influenced by illegal campaign contributions,” said Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Those who undermine this process and use it to gain power and influence should be punished.”
Magliocchetti is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17, 2010. In a press release, DOJ laid out the penalties he could face:
The maximum penalty for making false statements to a federal agency and making illegal campaign contributions from a corporation is five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, to be followed by a term of up to three years of supervised release. The maximum penalty for making illegal campaign contributions in the name of another is five years in prison, a fine of not less than 300 percent of the amount involved in the violation and not more than the greater of $50,000 or 1,000 percent of the amount involved in the violation, and a three year term of supervised release.