Former Jeff Thompson Employee to Plead Guilty in Straw Donor Scheme
Add one more name to the federal investigation into alleged shadow campaign financier Jeffrey Thompson: Lee Calhoun. Calhoun, an employee of Thompson's former accounting firm, will plead guilty next week to a misdemeanor charge of making straw campaign donations, his attorney tells LL.
While an employee at Thompson's Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio, and Associates (renamed Bazilio Cobb Associates after Thompson sold his share last year), Calhoun and his relatives made at least $84,250 in contributions to the political campaigns of a wide range of D.C. politicians, including Mayor Vince Gray, former mayors Marion Barry and Adrian Fenty, and councilmembers Jack Evans and Muriel Bowser. The Calhoun family's names also appeared on a series of money orders, all written in similar handwriting, that were given to Vincent Orange's 2011 at-large campaign.
A federal criminal information filed today by the U.S. Attorney's Office against Calhoun alleges that at least some of the donations Calhoun made weren't really from him. Instead, Calhoun gave between $2,000 and $10,000—the information doesn't specify how much—to an unnamed U.S. House of Representatives campaign using someone else's money.
The criminal information describes that benefactor as "Executive A," and includes several revealing details: Executive A was a named partner in the firm, as well as the chairman, CEO, and majority partner—qualities that match the resume of Jeffrey Thompson. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment on the identity of "Executive A."
Calhoun's attorney, Edward B. MacMahon, Jr., says his client's relatives weren't involved in the straw donations, even though their names appear on some of the donations. MacMahon expects his client to plead guilty at a Thursday hearing. A statement of offense released the same day will explain more about the nature of the charges, according to MacMahon.
Read the charging document below: