Take note Tom Delay

  Tom Delay:Prior violation of FEC by GOP benefactor


The Food Services of America corporation is currently supplying food to Halliburton contractors in Iraq. The owner, Tom Stewart, violated campaign contribution laws by giving his corporate office holders bonuses which they in turn gave to the WA GOP gubenatorial candidate: a total of $100,000. Read below the results of that case when Mr. Stewart plead guilty as a plea bargain.


The FSA case and the elements of the negotiated pleas
Mr. Stewart is the sole owner of FSA. Mr. Specht is FSA’s Chief Financial Officer and the treasurer of a political committee that received most of the illegal contributions on which the case rested.

The FSA case involved FECA violations that totaled $100,000. Specifically, FSA, acting through Stewart and Specht, padded bonuses that FSA gave to many management employees. The «pad» was designated by management (notably by Stewart and Specht) for contribution in the employee’s name to one of two federal campaign committees. The scheme lasted more than six years. It also included a State component that used the same method to inject $60,000 in illegal corporate funds to a municipal referendum that occurred in 1995, in violation of Washington State election laws.

The FSA case was one of a class of FECA-based cases that shared the following important characteristics:

– the targets were «end offenders» — i.e., defendants with FECA exposure who have no evidence to give against others;
– the offenders were motivated mainly by a desire to have a disproportionate voice in federal election campaigns;
– the offenders’ flouted known statutory duties imposed by FECA; but
– there was no evidence that the offenders sought to corruptly obtain advantage with public officials, to disrupt or impede federal programs, to embezzle funds or otherwise to breach fiduciary duties, or to interject foreign influence into American governmental processes. As in similar cases, the Department has sought a major fine in terms of the relative assets of the offender.8

The fundamentals of the FSA disposition negotiated over at least a six-month period:

1) all three defendants (Stewart, Specht and FSA) pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully violating FECA — 2 U.S.C. §437g(d), a misdemeanor;
2) the defendants agreed to pay federal fines totaling $5 million;
3) FSA will set up a «corporate compliance agreement» that we largely dictated to defense counsel. (This sanction was a first in a criminal FECA case.) The court approved, agreement will virtually ensure that future FECA violations involving the defendants will not occur, as the Probation Service will supervise it as part of the five-year probation term on which the corporation was placed;
4) the individual defendants will serve 60 days of home confinement;
5) the individual defendants will perform community service by serving 160 hours in soup kitchens and as monitors at homeless shelters in the Seattle area; and
6) the three defendants collectively will pay fines to the Washington State Election Commission of $560,000 for the State aspects of their conduct. These payments will be credited against the $5 million federal fine imposed on them. (This «global» federal-State disposition is also a first in a campaign financing case.)

About ItheMissingLink

Retired longshoreman at the Port of Seattle. US Navy veteran 9 patrol FBM nuclear submarines; married 29 years
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