Lobbyist Charged With Funneling Campaign Cash Through Friends, Family

Paul Magliocchetti, president of the Arlington, Virginia, lobbying firm PMA Group Inc., was arrested and charged with using intermediaries to skirt federal campaign- contribution limits, the U.S. Justice Department said.

“Magliocchetti orchestrated a scheme to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal conduit and corporate federal campaign contributions in an effort to enrich himself and PMA by increasing the firm’s influence and prestige,” the Justice Department alleged today in a statement.

A grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday returned an 11-count indictment charging the lobbyist with making illegal payments and making false statements to a federal agency. The document was unsealed today. He faces as long as five years in prison if convicted on any of the most serious counts.

PMA and Magliocchetti, a former Democratic aide on the U.S. House of Representatives defense appropriations subcommittee, primarily represented clients in that industry who sought government funding, according to the indictment.

To evade federal restrictions on campaign giving, the lobbyist had employees, friends and relatives act as conduits, making donations for which they were later reimbursed, according to the indictment.

Justice Department officials said the campaigns and political action committees that received money from Paul Magliocchetti were unaware of the scheme.

His attorney, William Lawler, of the Washington office of Vinson & Elkins LLP, didn’t immediately reply to voice-mail and e-mail messages seeking comment.

Son Pleads Guilty

Mark Magliocchetti, Paul’s son, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge T. Rawles Jones in Alexandria to a single count of making illegal campaign contributions in excess of $120,000. He faces as long as a year in prison and has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators, according to his plea agreement. He is set to be sentenced on Nov. 16.

Paul Magliocchetti also appeared today before Jones and was released on an unsecured $2 million bond, according to Peter Carr, spokesman for Neil MacBride, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Magliocchetti will be arraigned on Aug. 13.

Magliocchetti is accused of using conduits to make more than $10,000 in contributions to candidates’ campaign and political action committees in 2005 and more than $25,000 from 2006 to 2008. He is also accused of making more than $2,000 in unlawful corporate contributions in 2005 and in excess of $25,000 each of the next three years.

The case is U.S. v. Magliocchetti, 10-cr-286, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew M. Harris in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net

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