Paul Magliocchetti, president of the lobbying firm PMA Group Inc. of Arlington, Virginia, was arrested on August 5 and charged with using friends and family to make illegal campaign contributions in order to skirt federal campaign finance laws.
His firm has been under investigation since 2009.
In a statement the Justice Department alleged, “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.”
Magliocchetti, a former Democratic aide on the U.S. House of Representatives defense appropriations subcommittee, represented firms in the defense industry.
To skirt federal campaign contribution rules, Magliocchetti had friends and relatives act as conduits through which contributions would be made. Afterward these people would have their money reimbursed by the firms Magliocchetti lobbied for.
Magliocchetti’s son also pleaded guilty to a single count of making illegal contributions in excess of $120,000.
The 18-page indictment is somewhat good news for the several Democrats that were the recipients of Magliocchetti’s contributions because none are said to have known in advance that the contributions they were getting were being made illegally.
The top Democrats being focused on by federal investigators were James P. Moran (D, Vir.), Peter J. Visclosky (D, Ind.), and the now deceased John Murtha (D, Penn.). All have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Magliocchetti has ties throughout the defense industry but was particularly close to John Murtha and a large portion of the firms that Magliocchetti represented were from Murtha’s Pennsylvania district. As the Magliocchetti indictment made news it was also reported that Murtha’s nephew, Robert Murtha, Jr., was awarded some no-bid defense contracts raising questions as to whether or not these contracts were awarded legitimately.
Others that received PMA contributions were Senators Bill Nelson (D, Fla.) and Roger Wicker (R, Miss.), and Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D, Calif.) and Jim Moran (D, Vir.).
(U.S. v. Magliocchetti, 10-cr-286, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia – Alexandria)