Vern Buchanan & Florida Republican Party Donors Timothy Mobley & Timothy Hohl Guilty of Illegal Contributions
Since 2004, Florida homebuilder Timothy F. Mobley has contributed steadily (often the maximum allowed) to fellow Conservative Babylonian Vern Buchanan (who just made his fourth appearance on the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [CREW] list of “12 Most Corrupt Members of Congress”), as well to the likes of George Voinovich and Mel Martinez. Between 2008 and 2009, Mobley dropped $5,500 on the National Republican Congressional Committee, and a hefty $10,000 on the Republican Party of Florida.
But a casual glance at Mobley’s contributions — or at contributions to Buchanan by Timothy Hohl, Mobley’s accountant — doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. The DOJ will be happy to tell you the story — in which “Federal Elected Official A” has since been identified as Buchanan:
WASHINGTON, September 27, 2012 — Timothy F. Mobley, a real estate developer based in Tampa, Florida, and accountant Timothy F. Hohl pleaded guilty today in Jacksonville, Florida federal court for their roles in illegal contributions to the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) and the campaign of an elected member of the U.S. Congress, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.
Mobley, 60, pleaded guilty to one count each of making illegal conduit and illegal corporate contributions in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Hohl, 60, of Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding and abetting those illegal contributions. Both defendants entered their guilty pleas before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel B. Toomey.
During his guilty plea hearing, Mobley admitted that from March 2006 through October 2008, he made contributions to the campaign of an individual referred to in court documents as “Federal Elected Official A” that were above the limit established by FECA. Mobley admitted he disguised these contributions by recruiting and providing money to employees of his business entities and to one employee’s family member. He also admitted he used corporate funds to illegally reimburse the conduit contributions and that he attempted to conceal reimbursements to various employees by characterizing them as legitimate bonus compensation or advances on bonus compensation. Mobley admitted that in all, he reimbursed a total of $10,000 to RPOF and $84,300 in contributions to the campaign of Federal Elected Official A.
During his guilty plea hearing, Hohl admitted that while working as an accountant to Mobley and Mobley’s business entities from 2006 through 2008, he aided and abetted Mobley’s scheme to make the illegal excessive contributions. Hohl admitted he did so by participating in the reimbursement of other individuals, seeking and accepting reimbursement for his own contributions, and seeking and accepting reimbursement for his wife’s contributions.
On the FECA count charging him with making illegal excessive contributions in the amount of $25,000 or more for the calendar year 2008, Mobley faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $632,000 fine. On the second FECA count, charging him with making illegal corporate contributions in the amount of $25,000 or more for the calendar year 2008, he faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Hohl pleaded guilty to three counts charging him with aiding and abetting Mobley’s reimbursement scheme in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively. The maximum potential penalty for each offense is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys John P. Pearson and Eric G. Olshan of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the Jacksonville and Tampa Field Offices of the FBI. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida provided assistance.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice
While we don’t know what the Republican Party of Florida plans to do yet, Buchanan is expected to hand the dirty $84,300 over to the U.S. Treasury, while the National Republican Congressional Committee reportedly plans to keep its contributions from Mobley. The NRCC is under no obligation to do anything — Mobley’s contributions to the NRCC are supposedly “clean” — but it’s not uncommon to return funds from somebody who’s been convicted of illegal contributions elsewhere, just as a show of… Oh, wait, what are we thinking? This is the Republican Party we’re talking about.
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