A Texas man was sentenced at the moment to 18 months in jail for his position in funneling unlawful overseas marketing campaign contributions from a Russian nationwide to a 2016 presidential marketing campaign.
In keeping with courtroom paperwork, Jessie R. Benton, 45, of The Woodlands, schemed with one other political advisor to funnel political contributions to a 2016 presidential marketing campaign from a Russian nationwide searching for to fulfill and take an image with the presidential candidate. Benton organized for the Russian nationwide – whose nationality Benton hid from the marketing campaign and the candidate – to attend a marketing campaign fundraising occasion and to take an image with the candidate.
As such attendance and engagement required a contribution, Benton prompted the Russian nationwide to wire $100,000 to Benton’s political consulting agency to make an unlawful overseas contribution to the marketing campaign. To disguise the scheme, Benton created a faux bill, which falsely recognized the funds as cost for consulting companies. Benton acted as a straw donor and contributed $25,000 of the Russian nationwide’s cash to the marketing campaign, falsely recognized himself because the contributor, and pocketed the remaining $75,000. As a result of Benton falsely claimed to have given the contribution himself, the related marketing campaign entities unwittingly filed experiences with the Federal Election Fee (FEC) that inaccurately reported Benton – as an alternative of the Russian nationwide – because the supply of the funds.
In November 2022, Benton was convicted at trial of conspiring to solicit and trigger an unlawful marketing campaign contribution by a overseas nationwide, effecting a conduit contribution, and inflicting false data to be filed with the FEC.
Assistant Lawyer Normal Kenneth A. Well mannered, Jr. of the Justice Division’s Felony Division, U.S. Lawyer Randy Grossman for the Southern District of California, U.S. Lawyer Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Felony Investigative Division, and Particular Agent in Cost Stacey Moy of the FBI San Diego Subject Workplace made the announcement.
The FBI San Diego Subject Workplace investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Rebecca G. Ross and Michelle Ok. Parikh of the Felony Division’s Public Integrity Part and Assistant U.S. Lawyer Michelle L. Wasserman for the Southern District of California, whereas serving in her capability as a Particular Assistant U.S. Lawyer for the District of Columbia, prosecuted the case.