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Cooperation pays off in probation for lobbyist’s son
Deal helped secure father’s guilty plea
Question of the Day
The son of former superlobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, who cooperated in the federal investigation of his father for making illegal campaign contributions, was sentenced Tuesday to two years of supervised probation for his role in the scheme.
U.S. Magistrate Judge T. Rawles Jones Jr., said Mark Magliocchetti must serve 14 days of incarceration as a condition of the supervised probation and 5 1/2 months of home confinement with time out for work. He also was fined $10,000.
Mark Magliocchetti, 35, had sought probation, while prosecutors had requested eight months of incarceration, but had said they would not oppose home confinement. He agreed to testify against his father as part of his plea agreement entered last August when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making illegal campaign contributions using corporate money.
Prosecutors said in court filings that Mark Magliocchetti would have been “a critical witness” at his father’s trial and that his cooperation “substantially assisted the government in getting Paul Magliocchetti to change his plea to guilty last September to charges of making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress.
Paul Magliocchetti admitted in court to using straw donors - friends, lobbyists and family members, including his aged in-laws - to funnel $386,250 in illegal contributions to members of Congress, including key members of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee who provided hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for the clients of his now-defunct Arlington lobbying firm, the PMA Group.
The senior Magliocchetti was a major fundraiser for three powerful Democratic members of the subcommittee - the now-deceased John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, James P. Moran of Virginia and Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana - who had repeatedly helped him and his clients. The Justice Department said in September that the federal campaigns that received the Magliocchetti funds were unaware of the scheme.
Prosecutors said the scheme was designed to evade the federal legal limits on individual contributions and the outright ban on corporate donations. Paul Magliocchetti told the judge he knew it was illegal to reimburse donors. One of those he reimbursed was his son, who worked for PMA for seven years.
As part of his plea, Mark Magliocchetti admitted to receiving payments from his father and PMA with the understanding the money he received was to be used for federal campaign contributions. He said that at first, he and his wife, Leslie, were reimbursed by check and that later his father put her on the company payroll as a consultant.
Court documents says that after a while, Mark Magliocchetti realized the reimbursements were illegal, but made between $120,000 and $200,000 in reimbursed donations.
The younger Magliocchetti began cooperating when federal agents first contacted him in November 2008 to execute a search warrant on his house, according to prosecution court filings.
“Magliocchetti’s cooperation was substantial and helped lead to the conviction of his father, who was the leader and organizer of the scheme in which Magliocchetti himself participated,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memo seeking a reduced sentence for the younger Magliocchetti.
Prosecutors wrote that the elder Magliocchetti could have saved his son from prosecution if he had accepted an offer to plead guilty before he was indicted.
They said he did not accept the offer, and his son, who was already cooperating, agreed to plead guilty and testify against his father.
“The statement in the government memo is not true,” said Paul Magliocchetti’s attorney, William E. Lawler III. “We were never given a plea offer that would have resulted in Mark not being prosecuted.”
Paul Magliocchetti is to be sentenced Dec. 17. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of between 63 and 78 months in prison - which will be decided by the judge.
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