Prosecutors on Wednesday implicated a D.C. businessman at the center of a local campaign finance scheme in an off-the-books effort that provided support for a 2008 presidential campaign.
Troy White, owner of New York marketing company Wytehouse Marketing, pleaded guilty in federal court in the District for failure to report more than $608,000 his company received for organizing street-team efforts for primary campaigns in Texas and elsewhere, according to prosecutors.
White was paid for the efforts by a D.C.-based company called Belle International, whose owner last year pleaded guilty to a straw political donor scheme that funneled money to a shadow campaign for Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Eugenia C. Harris, was a close associate of Jeffrey E. Thompson, and descriptions of the executive who funneled the money through Belle International match Mr. Thompson.
On eight separate occasions in 2008, during the run-up to various presidential primaries, Belle International was wired funds from one of two outside companies — neither of which is named but which are described in terms that resemble companies formerly owned by Mr. Thompson. On the same day Belle received the money, it was passed to Wytehouse Marketing.
The campaign White supported was not named in court documents, but the Wytehouse website says the 48-year-old has previously worked for Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama. Associates of Mr. Thompson donated to each during the campaign cycle.
White became involved with the 2008 effort after he pitched a marketing presentation to an unnamed member of the campaign.
Though campaign officials declined to use White's street-team services, a senior official introduced him to the executive matching Mr. Thompson's description. White and the businessman came up with a plan by which teams would organize and distribute campaign materials ahead of the Texas primary. Among the items paid for were lawn signs, stickers, posters, pamphlets and canvassers.
Mr. Thompson has not been charged with a crime.
White is due back in court for a status hearing on Dec. 16. He faces up to a year in prison and fines as a result of his conviction of failure to file corporate tax returns for his business.
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