Big Democratic Fund-Raiser Indicted
By BRODY MULLINS
August 6, 2010
WASHINGTON—A major Democratic lobbyist and fund-raiser was arrested Thursday and indicted on charges of making hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress.
The 11-count indictment by the Department of Justice against Paul Magliocchetti, the founder of the now-defunct lobbying outfit PMA Group, brings for Democrats new and unwelcome attention to continuing ethics controversies ensnaring some of the party’s lawmakers.
Federal prosecutors alleged Mr. Magliocchetti prodded family members, employees and acquaintances to make political donations to particular lawmakers by promising that he would reimburse them for the contributions, which is illegal.
The Justice Department said Mr. Magliocchetti paid people back by writing personal and corporate checks, or giving employees bonuses and raises to cover the contributions. In one instance, two of his acquaintances were put on the board of the lobbying firm and paid a salary to cover the costs of their donations, even though neither had experience as lobbyists and didn’t attend board meetings, according to prosecutors…
In connection with the probe, prosecutors said Mr. Magliocchetti’s brother Mark pleaded guilty to making between $120,000 and $200,000 in illegal donations…
House ethics investigators had conducted a probe into Mr. Magliocchetti’s ties to House lawmakers on the defense-spending panel, which was headed by Mr. Murtha. Investigators recommended the full ethics panel start a probe of ties between Mr. Magliocchetti’s firm and Reps. Peter Visclosky (D., Ind.) and Todd Tiahrt (R., Kan.).
After Mr. Murtha died in February, the panel said it had closed its inquiry into Mr. Magliocchetti and lawmakers.