Two Oakton men have pleaded guilty to making illegal conduit campaign contributions, allegedly creating donation invoices in others' names and then reimbursing them with funds from their corporation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations said the scheme carried out by William P. Danielczyk, Jr. and Eugene R. Biagi, both of Oakton, totaled $186,600 in contributions "to the senate and presidential campaign committees of a candidate for federal office," according to FBI officials.
Danielczyk, 51, and Biagi, 78, both of Oakton, Virginia, pleaded guilty to making illegal conduit campaign contributions, a charge that carries a maximum of five years in prison.
Danielczyk faces a fine of no less than 3 times the amount involved in the scheme; Biagi faces a potential fine of not more than $250,000.
The men will be sentenced May 13.
“With today’s guilty pleas, Danielczyk and Biagi admit they used straw donors to circumvent the rules of the electoral process,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said in a statement. “Our democracy depends on voters honoring campaign contribution limits and other campaign finance laws, and the Justice Department will continue to pursue corrupt individuals whose illegal tricks threaten the legitimacy of elections and undermine public confidence in the democratic process.”
According to FBI documents, Danielczyk — the chairman of Galen Capital Corporation — and Biagi, the company's secretary and treasurer, co-hosted a fundraiser for a candidate's U.S. senate campaign; in March 2007, he co-hosted a fundraiser for the same candidate's 2008 campaign for president.
At the fundraisers, Danielcyzk said he recruited people, including Biagi and other employees, to be "straw donors" to the campaigns. He promised them they'd be reimbursed for their donations, FBI documents say.
Danielczyk’s assistant apparently collected the contributions. The donors were reimbursed using Galen Capital Corporation’s corporate funds, via checks categorized as consulting fees. The checks were issued for slightly more than each donation amount.
Danielczyk and Biagi further backed the donations by creating back-dated letters outlining those "consulting fees."
The campaigns were unaware of the scheme, the FBI said, and reported the donations as legal.