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Sat Mar 2, 2019, 08:36 AM

Rhode Island fraudster was major donor to Reynolds, Ernst, King, Pate

Four Iowa Republican candidates received large donations in 2018 from Russell Taub, who agreed last week to plead guilty to federal crimes related to his political activity.

Patrick Anderson of the Providence Journal broke the news on February 20: “Federal prosecutors have charged former Rhode Island Republican congressional candidate H. Russell Taub with siphoning more than $1 million in political donations for personal use and have reached a plea deal with him, according to court documents.”

Taub raised more than $1.6 million for political action committees he never registered with the Federal Election Commission. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (also known as FACT and formerly led by Matt Whitaker) filed an FEC complaint last July against Taub and his Keeping America in Republican Control PAC (KAIRC) “for failing to comply with the basic filing and reporting requirements of federal campaign finance law.”

Prosecutors later determined that Taub

solicited more than $1.6 million through KAIRC and an affiliated Ohio PAC, but that the majority of the contributions never made their way toward helping GOP candidates.

Instead, prosecutors say Taub withdrew “nearly $100,000” in cash, transferred more than $715,000 into his personal bank accounts, and spent more than $217,000 on personal expenses including airfare, hotel rooms, restaurant meals, clothes, cigars, strip club visits and “escort services.”

The donations Taub did spend in the political arena he spent illegally, according to the charges.

He advertised KAIRC as a “Super PAC” and took advantage of that designation to raise donations in excess of the $5,000 individual limit. But prosecutors say he made more than $215,000 in donations directly to the campaigns of federal candidates, illegal for Super PACs under federal law.

Read more: https://www.bleedingheartland.com/2019/02/27/rhode-island-fraudster-was-major-donor-to-reynolds-ernst-king-pate/

Cross-posted in the Iowa Group.

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