An excerpt of Dentons’ Political Law Playbook.
Defense Contractor Pleads Guilty To Making Illegal Contributions To Sen. Collins’ 2020 Campaign – In late September, a former chief executive at engineering firm Navatek pled guilty to violating federal pay-to-play laws that prohibit defense contractors from making certain political contributions. Martin Kao was charged with using family members and a shell company to contribute over $200,000 in illegal donations to “Senator Susan Collins’” campaign, as well as with conspiracy and making false statements to authorities. There are no allegations raised against Senator Collins’ campaign, which divested all contributions related to Kao, in the criminal matter. Kao is scheduled for sentencing in February 2023.
SEC Fines Four Advisory Firms for Alleged Pay-to-Play Violations – Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined four investment advisors nearly $300K for allegedly being paid investment advisory fees from government entities after making campaign donations to elected officials. The SEC’s pay-to-play rule prohibits investment advisers from providing compensatory advisory services for two years following a campaign contribution to any official who would be in a position to influence the selection of the firm by a government entity. The lone dissenting SEC Commissioner objecting to the levied fines claimed that each enforcement scenario involved one-time, small-dollar contributions by one or two people, and all the investment advisers had established advisory relationships with the relevant government entities before the contributions occurred.
Indiana Contractor Ordered to Pay Restitution to Local Indiana Sanitary District – An Indiana contractor who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for illegally exchanging cash in order to win a contract with the Muncie Sanitary District was recently ordered to pay $104,750 in restitution to the district. Rodney Barber had admitted to giving an ex-local Democratic Party chairman $5,500 to help win the contract, as well as providing a district official with $5,000 to facilitate illegal contributions to then-mayor’s re-election campaign.
About the Political Law Playbook
Dentons’ Political Law Playbook is a monthly update on the most important developments in the areas of political law, government ethics, campaign finance, lobbying and election law. Each edition of Political Law Playbook will cast a spotlight on the unique issues at the intersection of law, policy and politics and give you a window into how the Dentons Political Law, Ethics and Disclosure team can help you navigate the compliance challenges you face.