Three men have been charged for their alleged involvement in a scheme involving two illegal political action committees that swindled $ 3.5 million during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Matthew Nelson Tunstall, 34, Robert Reyes Jr., 38, and Kyle George Davis, 29, are charged with soliciting contributions to two fraudulent PACs, called the Liberty Action Group PAC and the Progressive Priorities PAC, posing as candidate affiliates. but they were actually vehicles for the three men to pocket, according to a accusation It came back on Nov 2 which opened on Tuesday.
Between January 2016 and April 2017, the three men reportedly received approximately $ 3.5 million from donors who they thought were contributing money to presidential candidates, according to a statement of the Department of Justice.
The indictment did not specify which candidates the two PACs intended to support, but Political noted that the indictment suggests that Liberty Action Group PAC was raised to support the candidate Donald trumpDonald Trump Federal judge rejects Trump’s effort to block the release of the documents on January 6 Sununu underscores the uncertain path of the Republican Party to obtain a majority in the Senate Trump endorses Idaho lt. gov. against the incumbent Republican leader MORE, while the Progressive Priorities PAC was meant to endorse the Democratic candidate Hillary clintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Ted Cruz nicknames Hillary Clinton ‘Oscar the Grouch’ for Big Bird’s tweet Howard Stern submits his 2024 bid against Trump: ‘There’s no way I’m losing’ Media narrative pushed back the role of education in Virginia elections MORE.
Prosecutors say that of the approximately $ 3.5 million raised through the PACs, “only approximately $ 19 was distributed to any candidate’s authorized campaign committee or to any political cause.”
They allege that more than $ 1.5 million was “used for the benefit” of the three men.
Tunstall and Reyes also allegedly funneled $ 350,000 of the illegal contributions through a third-party provider to conceal the use of the funds for personal purposes, according to the indictment.
The three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to make a false statement to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), in addition to various counts of wire fraud. Tunstall and Reyes were also charged with money laundering.
If convicted on all charges, Tunstall and Reyes face a maximum of 125 years in prison, while Davies would be subject to a maximum of 65 years in prison.
According to the indictment, the PACs solicited money through “false and misleading representations,” including robocalls using the voices of the candidates, and written and radio announcements. They also reportedly offered stickers and signed photos of candidates for larger donations.
The indictment said the three men used the funds raised through the fraudulent PACs “to pay for fraudulent additional requests for money, to enrich themselves directly, and to support their independent and unrelated business ventures.”
Tunstall has previously been accused of running questionable PACs, according to Politico. Last spring, he was reportedly linked to a string of PACs that used Trump’s name to raise millions, but ultimately funneled little of that money into the campaign or initiatives.
According to a report from July CNN, has used those funds to finance a luxurious lifestyle marked by Porsche cars and Gucci rings.
Tunstall made his initial court appearance Tuesday in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Reyes and Davies were due to make their first appearances in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of California and the Western District of Texas, respectively, on Wednesday.