A former lobbyist has decided to plead guilty and cooperate in a Justice Department probe of campaign donations to members of Congress who directed hundreds of millions of dollars to defense contractors without competitive bidding.
Paul Magliocchetti pleaded not guilty to an 11-count indictment felony indictment on Aug. 20. He is charged with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal donations to scores of campaigns dating back to 2003 to enrich himself and increase his firm’s influence with public officials. The former lobbyist was to have gone on trial Oct. 5.
From 1989 to late 2008, Magliocchetti and his employees gave members of Congress $3.4 million in campaign donations, more than most of the larger lobbying firms in town. If the allegations in the indictment are true, a sizable chunk of that money actually came from Magliocchetti personally or from the firm’s coffers.
In 2007 and 2008 alone, three top Democrats on the House defense subcommittee directed $137 million to defense contractors who were paying Magliocchetti’s PMA Group to get them government business. The three were subcommittee chairman John Murtha of Pennnsylvania, James Moran of Virginia and Visclosky.
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