Del. Man Admits Illegal Campaign Contributions

Friday, 10 Jun 2011 01:12 PM

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A Delaware man has pleaded guilty to illegally funneling more than $200,000 to political campaigns. Those benefitting from the illegal contributions apparently include the failed presidential campaign of now Vice President Joe Biden, The Washington Post reported.

illegal campaign contributionsThe criminal complaint showed that Christopher Tigani reimbursed donations from employees, family members and friends to state and federal candidates from 2003 to 2008. He pleaded guilty in a Wilmington, Del., federal court to two counts of violating federal election laws and two counts of tax fraud for lying about his income, the Post reported.

Tigani’s family runs NKS Distributors, a liquor distribution business in Delaware. According to prosecutors, Christopher Tigani made $1 million a year while president of NKS. He has since filed for bankruptcy, claiming up to $50 million in debts, the Post reported.

Prosecutors said the campaign finance scheme involved fake fundraisers, free alcohol for candidates and supporters at events, and the use of NKS offices for fundraising calls in an effort to “increase his company’s influence over matters of importance to NKS.”

The complaint does not allege any wrongdoing by the candidates and does not identify them by name. However, the Post reported that dates and other information in the court documents “strongly suggest that Biden and Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., were among the candidates who received straw donations from Tigani.”

Vice President Biden’s spokeswoman, Amy Dudley, said, “We had absolutely no knowledge of these activities.”

Tigani faces up to five years in prison on each of the election law violations and up to three on each of the tax evasion counts, the Post reported.


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