California man pleads guilty to running dual PACs, stealing over $700k

Two committees were for liberal, conservative candidates.

Updated: August 9, 2022 - 2:58pm

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The Department of Justice said this week that a California man has pleaded guilty to running two dueling Super PACS in which he and several conspirators pulled down several million dollars, spent less than $20 on actual political causes, and pocketed the rest. 

Hollister resident Robert Reyes, Jr., admitted to "conspiracy to solicit millions of dollars in contributions to two political action committees based on false and misleading representations that the funds would be used to support presidential candidates during and after the 2016 election cycle," the Justice Department said in a press release. 

Reyes and his co-conspirators operated the political action committees Liberty Action Group PAC and Progressive Priorities PAC, contributions to which "would be used to support dueling presidential nominees of the two major political parties, respectively." 

However, "Reyes and his co-conspirators used the funds to enrich themselves and to fund additional fraudulent solicitations," the Justice Department said. Reyes himself allegedly pulled down $714,000 from a total $3.5 million taken in by the PACS.

"Of the approximately $3.5 million raised, the two PACs contributed approximately $19 to legitimate political causes," the DOJ said. 

Reyes, who is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison, agreed to forfeit over $800,000 he pulled down as part of the overall scheme. 

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