Two Arizona brothers were charged Thursday in a Manhattan courtroom by federal authorities of bilking donors out of more than $23 million with a collection “scam PACs,” telling contributors their money would be used to fund anti-abortion, GOP candidates and law enforcement causes, reports the Daily Beast.
William Tierney, 46, and Robert Tierney, 40, are due to be arraigned in Arizona on federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy for raising money through their political action committees from 2014 to 2018 — and pocketing $3.5 million to themselves while the causes they professed to support received only $108,000 in help.
“They were PACs in name only,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. “In reality they were scams…consumer fraud schemes hiding in the tall grass of our political system.”
According to the indictment, virtually all of the money went to telemarketing, fundraising and overhead through a series of shell entities owned by the two that had no employees.
Among the PACs included was the Americans for Law Enforcement PAC, National Campaign PAC, Voter Education PAC, Protect Our Future PAC, Life and Liberty PAC, Republican Majority PAC, and RightMarch.com PAC.
According to the report, the brothers targeted small donors of less than $200 each — which allowed them to hide the donors names because they don’t have to be individually identified in Federal Election Commission reports.