ChesterNewMatter_1stQtr2021 - 11

CCBA Feature

By Anthony T. Verwey, Esquire
Attorney at Gawthrop Greenwood

his own name.


ll businesses and their employees should be
paying attention to recent reporting regarding
" conduit " campaign contributions, which have
the potential to put both parties in jeopardy. While
such contributions are
illegal at both the federal
and commonwealth
levels, one of the best
descriptions of the
offending conduct is
provided by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation,
which has written that,
" Person A goes to Friend
B or Employee C or
Associate D and says,
'Hey, if you give me the
money for Candidate X,
I'll pass along your check
and then reimburse you
out of my own pocket or
from corporate funds.'
The friend, employee,
or associate effectively
becomes a 'conduit' for
the real contributor, thus
the name. " -Election
Fraud - Don't Commit
a Campaign Crime,
FBI (2007)

(b) It shall be unlawful for any candidate or political
committee to disburse money received from an
anonymous source. All such money shall be handed
over to the State Treasurer within twenty (20) days of
its receipt.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to make
contributions of currency of the United States or
currency of any foreign
country to or for the
benefit of any candidate
which in the aggregate,
exceed one hundred
dollars ($100), with
respect to any candidate
for election. " 25 P.S.

Making a Campaign
Make Sure
You're Compliant

The objective of the
law is to ensure that
the true sources of
campaign contributions
are known and subject
to proper reporting. In
the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, the Election Code addresses conduits in
stating that,
" (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to make any
contribution with funds designated or given to him for
the purpose by any other person, firm or corporation.
Each person making a contribution shall do so only in

Under both the federal
and commonwealth
laws, the individual
making the conduit
contribution and the
reimbursing person
or entity could face
criminal peril. In
Pennsylvania, the
attorney general or
county district attorney
may prosecute conduit
campaign contribution
violations. The penalties
for each violation range
up to a $1,000.00 fine
and one year in jail. 25
P.S. §3550.

Anyone engaged
in making a political
contribution must
avoid reimbursing or
being reimbursed for
such contribution or
face potential prosecution. It does not matter whether the
reimbursement is labeled a bonus, gross-up, etc., it does
not change the nature of the transaction, and it exposes
both parties to criminal jeopardy.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ChesterNewMatter_1stQtr2021

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