Negotiated Dispositions of FECA-Based Crimes
Prepared by Craig C. Donsanto1
This paper will examine recent criminal dispositions for offenses rooted in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), and identify considerations the author feels should be involved in negotiated criminal dispositions for offenses of this sort. It uses the plea agreement in a recent FECA case in Seattle involving Food Services of America. Inc. (FSA) as a benchmark for negotiations in cases of this genre.
FECA was first enacted in 1971, when it required only public reporting of federal campaign contributions and expenditures. The sole remedy for violations of this original version of the statute was criminal prosecution under a statutory sanction that provided strict misdemeanor liability for anyone who violated the regulatory obligations thus imposed.2
Congress significantly amended FECA in 1974, and again in 1976. One result was to insert into the Act limitations and prohibitions on campaign financing practices to prevent potential corruption. Another was to replace the strict liability criminal penalty that was the sole sanction for violations of the original Act with a series of ascending remedies and penalties, so that the sanction imposed would fit the offence committed.
Criminal sanctions were confined to violations of this regulatory statute committed «knowingly and willfully,» a standard which the courts have interpreted as requiring proof that the offender knew what the law required or forbade and that(s)he flouted it despite that knowledge.3 The remainder of FECA infractions are addressed through non-criminal remedies such as advisory opinions, regulations, and monetary sanctions imposed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC)4.
By the late 1980's, the «core» acts, duties and prohibitions imposed by this complex regulatory law had become established features of the federal campaign fundraising process. Consequently, candidates, professional fund raisers, and major contributors to federal campaigns can be more easily presumed factually to have known of their existence than was the case in the 1970's when these laws were new.5 This is particularly so where they violate the Act's core features in way calculated to conceal they are doing so. This evolution of FECA eventually led to judicial recognition that violations of at least FECA's «core» features by fundraising professionals -- perpetrated in a way calculated to conceal the underlying offense from the government and from the public -- could be prosecuted under one or more general federal felony laws dealing with «fraud.»6
The «felonization» of factually aggravated core FECA offenses, the increased importance that the American public has recently come to place on the societal interests implicated by campaign financing offenses, and the recent rejection of the so-called Halper Doctrine by the Supreme Court in late 1997,7 have all served to significantly enhance both the potential consequences for engaging in such conduct and the remedies that are available to prosecutors to address such criminal conduct. The discussion that follows will present my views how sentencing for aggravated FECA offenses prosecuted as crimes today have been handled, and ought to be addressed in the future.
The FSA case and the elements of the negotiated pleas
Mr. Stewart is the sole owner of FSA. Mr. Specht is FSA's Chief Financial Officer and the treasurer of a political committee that received most of the illegal contributions on which the case rested.
The FSA case involved FECA violations that totaled $100,000. Specifically, FSA, acting through Stewart and Specht, padded bonuses that FSA gave to many management employees. The «pad» was designated by management (notably by Stewart and Specht) for contribution in the employee's name to one of two federal campaign committees. The scheme lasted more than six years. It also included a State component that used the same method to inject $60,000 in illegal corporate funds to a municipal referendum that occurred in 1995, in violation of Washington State election laws.
The FSA case was one of a class of FECA-based cases that shared the following important characteristics:
- the targets were «end offenders» -- i.e., defendants with FECA exposure who have no evidence to give against others;
- the offenders were motivated mainly by a desire to have a disproportionate voice in federal election campaigns;
- the offenders' flouted known statutory duties imposed by FECA; but
- there was no evidence that the offenders sought to corruptly obtain advantage with public officials, to disrupt or impede federal programs, to embezzle funds or otherwise to breach fiduciary duties, or to interject foreign influence into American governmental processes. As in similar cases, the Department has sought a major fine in terms of the relative assets of the offender.8
The fundamentals of the FSA disposition negotiated over at least a six-month period:
1) all three defendants (Stewart, Specht and FSA) pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully violating FECA -- 2 U.S.C. §437g(d), a misdemeanor;
2) the defendants agreed to pay federal fines totaling $5 million;
3) FSA will set up a «corporate compliance agreement» that we largely dictated to defense counsel. (This sanction was a first in a criminal FECA case.) The court approved, agreement will virtually ensure that future FECA violations involving the defendants will not occur, as the Probation Service will supervise it as part of the five-year probation term on which the corporation was placed;
4) the individual defendants will serve 60 days of home confinement;
5) the individual defendants will perform community service by serving 160 hours in soup kitchens and as monitors at homeless shelters in the Seattle area; and
6) the three defendants collectively will pay fines to the Washington State Election Commission of $560,000 for the State aspects of their conduct. These payments will be credited against the $5 million federal fine imposed on them. (This «global» federal-State disposition is also a first in a campaign financing case.)
Reaching this settlement avoided a lengthy trial. Inevitably, the government's successful prosecution would have been challenged in many appeals, allowing the defendants to profess their innocence and proffer their «persecution.» The plea brought a timely end to the investigation of a highly complex FECA matter, while forcing the defendants to publicly confess culpability.
With matters that fit the FSA parameters, my view is that the most appropriate sentence significantly hits offenders in the wallet, takes away their liberty for a period, requires that they accept Court supervised measures to mend their ways (an enforcement enhancement introduced in the FSA case), and makes offenders perform appropriate public penance and community service -- also a first for the FSA matter. These sanctions accomplish:
Deterrence: The news that the Department of Justice has been achieving seven-figure fines in FECA matters where offenders merely wanted to achieve a disproportionate voice in politics by knowingly violating the core provisions of FECA has spread like wildfire, and has gotten the attention of both the community of potential offenders, and the segment of the bar that advises them.
Retribution: Stewart and his companies were required to part with a sizable chuck of change -- in this instance 50 times the amount involved in the FECA offense they committed. For a crime that is essentially financial in nature, a penalty of this dimension hurts. The «pain» thus inflicted was enhanced by the fact that FSA is the wholly owned property of the main individual defendant, Tom Stewart, so that he essentially paid its share of the fine.
Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation is a too rare achievement in white-collar cases. Stewart and Specht, who arrogantly flouted the law, were forced to serve society's far less fortunate members through the community service component of their negotiated plea.
Restraint: Neither Specht nor Stewart posed a danger to society such as requires them to be placed in too scarce jail cells. The «Corporate Compliance Program» overseen by the Court while FSA is on probation suitably achieved the restraint objective by ensuring that this company will not commit FECA violations in the future. Indeed, the «Corporate Compliance Program» achieved in the FSA case is a useful model for post conviction corporate conduct in other similar matters.
Finally, because of the unique way in which the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSGs) interact with this type of regulatory offense,9 the only effective way the FSA sanctions could be accomplished was through a plea to 2 U.S.C. §437g(d) --which happens to be a misdemeanor. Had jail-type incarceration for the individual offenders been a more appropriate law enforcement goal, the case would have been pursued as a felony under one of the «fraud» theories that Courts have held applicable to aggravated FECA offenses.
The FSA disposition as compared to other negotiated settlements in recent FECA-based criminal cases
Criminal violations of FECA range widely in the role and the intent of offenders -- from arrogant tycoons who simply want to have a disproportionate say in elective politics and do so by knowingly flouting regulatory prohibitions one on extreme, to corruptors of governmental processes who try to disguise bribes as «campaign contributions» on the other. On the broad scale of FECA offenses, the facts adduced during the lengthy and complex FSA investigation clearly fell within a category generally defined by the following parameters:
a) The individual subjects were people of immense personal wealth, whose principal motive for violating FECA was to have a disproportionate voice in elective politics.
b) The individual subjects knew what the law required and flouted it despite that knowledge.
c) Thorough investigation of their activities failed to uncover any evidence that the offenders specifically intended through their conduct to attain corrupt advantage with individual public officials or with political entities, or to corrupt or impede government programs or activities.
These parameters have been present in several cases that the Justice Department has disposed of in recent years. However, had any of these parameters been different, the appropriate negotiated disposition could also have been different. For example:
- If Stewart had evidence to give against other more culpable offenders and did so, that would have militated in favor of leniency. A recent case of this variety is Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems Inc., which was allowed to plead to misdemeanor FECA violations and to pay a $150,000 fine because its officers agreed to cooperate in other pending corruption cases and to give evidence against the corporation's CEO.
- If the investigation had developed evidence of a motive to corrupt or to curry favor with public office holders or political entities, we would have insisted on felony charges and sought jail time. A recent example of this sort is the individual offenders involved in the Empire case. The Departmenthas insisted that they plead to multiple felonies. They await trial, having refused to comply with our requirements.
- If Stewart was a man of far more modest means, we would have proffered a disposition that was structurally similar to the one arrived at, but that imposed a proportionally diminished monetary sanction -- as we did with respect to Robert Maloney and Lalit Gadhia, for whom fines of $256,000 and $40,000, respectively, were proportionally as painful as the $5 million fine imposed on FSA and Stewart.
Summary of the terms of recent negotiated settlements in FECA cases
FECA cases that did not include felony counts
James Lake, an officer of an incorporated lobbying firm, pleaded to several misdemeanor FECA violations and paid a fine of $150,000 based on FECA violations of $4,200. The Independent Counsel/Espy handled the case; Mr. Lake made corporate contributions through four conduits -- himself, his two sons and a business partner.
Korean Air, Inc., pleads guilty to several misdemeanor FECA violations, and paid a $250,000 fine based on an underlying FECA violation of $5,000. As in FSA, there was no evidence of an aggravating motive to corrupt elected officials concerning specific issues or interests or to disrupt or impede a federal program.
Hyundai Motors of America, Inc., plead to misdemeanor
FECA violations and paid a $600,000 fine based on FECA violations of $4,500. As in FSA, there was no evidence of a specific motive or intention to corrupt elected officials.
Samsung of America, Inc., plead guilty to several
misdemeanor violations of FECA and paid a fine of $150,000 based on FECA violations of $10,000. As in FSA, there was no evidence of a specific motive or intention to corrupt elected officials.
Haitai America, Inc., pleads guilty to several FECA misdemeanor violations based on FECA violations of $2,800, and paid a $400,000 fine. As in FSA, there was no evidence of a specific motive or intention to corrupt elected officials.
Daewoo, Incorporated, plead guilty to two misdemeanor
violations of FECA in connection with its contribution of $5,000 to a federal candidate through five employees and paid a stipulated fine of $200,000. As in FSA, there was no evidence of a motive or intention to corrupt elected officials.
Robert Maloney, a Massachusetts investment advisor, gave $35,000 of his personal funds to the Congressional campaign of his brother, James, through conduits. The brother was running for Congress from a district in Connecticut. Maloney's sole motive was to help his brother financially by shifting family funds to the brother's political campaign. Robert Maloney pleaded guilty to FECA misdemeanor violations, paid a fine of $256,000, and served two months home detention.
Ray Norvell, a mid-level Nevada manger of a national liquor wholesaler, doing business locally in Nevada as DeLuca Liquor & Wine, Ltd., contributed $10,000 of DeLuca corporate funds in the names of himself, his spouse, and four associates and their spouses to a Presidential primary campaign in 1995, well before that campaign eventually qualified for federal funding. Norvell was a man of relatively modest means, and his motive for violating FECA was to honor a promise he made to a friend. Norvell pleaded guilty to two FECA violations (2 U.S.C. §441b and §441f), and paid stipulated criminal and administrative penalties that totaled $110,000.00 ($100,000 criminal, $10,000 administrative), in a «global» settlement with both the Justice Department and the FEC. Prosecution of the DeLuca Corporation was declined because it had a formal corporate ethics policy forbidding the contribution of corporate funds to political candidates at the time Norvell acted, because Norvell was on a detour from this policy when he acted in this matter, and because Norvell's position in the overall corporate structure was not that of a senior executive. In lieu of prosecution, the corporation's liability for Norvell's actions was deferred to FEC for administrative handling, and the corporation agreed as part of the global settlement of the matter to tender a stipulated fine of $50,000 to FEC.
Ramon Desage and Cadeau, Inc., a Nevada corporation he controlled, gave $5,000 in corporate funds through five conduits to a federal candidate in violation of 2 U.S.C. §441b and §441f respectively. Desage had experience as a federal fundraiser. He and the corporation pleaded guilty to two FECA criminal violations, and paid stipulated penalties that totaled $190,000.00: $175,000 in criminal fines and $20,000 in administrative remedies paid to the FEC as a result of a global settlement negotiated by the Justice Department.
Lalit Gadhia, an inner-city lawyer in Baltimore of East Indian heritage and extremely modest means accepted roughly $35,000 from the Indian Government, which he laundered through service workers to a political action committee in New Mexico that, in turn, supported several federal candidates, in violation of 2 U.S.C. §441e and 441f. The Embassy officer who structured this scheme was PNG'd back to India and was not available for prosecution. In view of his modest financial situation and hisrelatively minor role in this foreign-originated offense, Mr. Gadhia was allowed to plead guilty to FECA violations and to pay a modest fine of $35,000 - - the sum he illegally gave. However, because his FECA offenses had a foreign influence element to them, he was also sentenced to serve six months incarceration at FCI/Allenwood.
Empire Sanitary Landfill, Inc.: The former owners of Empire Sanitary Landfill, Inc., laundered more than $100,000 in contributions to ten federal candidates, including two candidates for President who were receiving federal funds under the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act (PPMPAA). They also contributed an equally large sum to candidates for State offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The purpose of some of these illegal contributions was to curry favor with public officials concerning specific legislative issues concerning the operation of sanitary landfills. In 1997, the corporation was sold to new, and honest, owners, who immediately entered plea negotiations with the Department aimed at settling the corporation's criminal liability for its past misdeeds. This new management team was allowed to plead the corporation to numerous misdemeanor FECA violations and to pay an $8 million institutional fine based on FECA violations that totaled $129,000. The individual offenders representing the management team in control of Empire at the time these offenses occurred have been indicted for felony violations based in FECA. The Department has refused to consider misdemeanor dispositions with these individuals because of their corrupt motive and their impairment of the PPMPAA, and they are currently awaiting trial in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Recent FECA cases that did include felony counts
Empire Sanitary Landfill, Inc.'s original management caused the corporation to commit FECA violations by laundering approximately $130,000 to ten federal candidates, and to violate Pennsylvania and New Jersey election laws by making similar contributions to local and State candidates. As noted above, unlike the defendants in the FSA case, their motive was to curry favor with public officials concerning specific pending issues. They sought to protect their interests in securing and operating toxic waste dumps in the New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania area. As noted, the corporation was subsequently sold to honest owners, and has been permitted to plead to misdemeanor FECA violations and pay an $8 million fine. The prior owners, and one Pennsylvania State representative, have been charged with felony offenses based in FECA and charged under 18 U.S.C. §371 and §1001. These defendants are all currently awaiting trial in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.Simon Fireman and his closely owned corporation Aqua-Leisure Industries paid a fine of $6 million. Fireman served six months home detention. The underlying FECA violations involved contributions of $120,000. The Fireman case had two aggravating factors that were not present in FSA: 1) a significant portion of Fireman's illegal campaign contributions was given to a candidate for President who was receiving federal matching funds, thereby improperly distorting the matching payment program; and 2) all of the funds Fireman gave illegally originated with a Hong Kong company that he controlled thus interjecting 2 U.S.C. §441e -- prohibiting foreign contributions -- into the matter. These differences explain why there was a felony count in the Fireman disposition.
Don Dixon, the CEO of a Texas savings and loan association, was convicted of multiple felony violations, notably 18 U.S.C. §371 and §1001. Unlike the defendants in FSA, Dixon specifically sought to gain improper advantage with specific public officials and bank regulators through large illegal political contributions. He was indicted and convicted of multiple felony violations, notably 18 U.S.C. §371 and §1001. Mr. Dixon was convicted and sentenced to jail.
Robert Hopkins, the CEO of a Texas savings and loan association, acted corruptly in a manner similar to Mr. Dixon, and faced similar charges. Again, unlike the FSA case, his specific motive was to curry favor with specific public officials and bank regulators through large and illegal contributions. Mr. Hopkins was convicted and sent to jail. Indeed, his case provided the first appellate recognition that felony theories based in federal laws dealing with «fraud» applied to offenses based in FECA. See United States v. Hopkins. 916 F.2d 207 (5th Cir. 1990).
James Curran, a lobbyist in Pennsylvania acting for the coal industry, was convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. §1001 based on a pattern of FECA offenses. Unlike the defendants in FSA, Mr. Curran sought to achieve advantage for the coal industry in Pennsylvania concerning specific issues through large illegal political contributions. He was convicted in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania of violating 18 U.S.C. §371 and §1001 following deliberations that lasted under an hour. However, the Third Circuit because of inadequate jury instructions reversed his conviction on the elements of Section 1001. United States v. Curran. 20 F.3d 560 (3d Cir. 1994). Subsequently, Mr. Curran was permitted to plead to several misdemeanor FECA violations to ensure a conviction and avoid a costly retrial.
Nicholas Rizzo, the Treasurer of the 1992 federally funded presidential campaign of the late Paul Tsongas, pleaded guilty to numerous felony violations based in 18 U.S.C. §371,§1001 and §1346. His case focused largely on FECA violations committed during his embezzlement of more than $1 million from the Tsongas Campaign Committee, and on his disruption of the PPMPAA program. Unlike the defendants in the FSA case, Mr. Rizzo's conduct was aggravated in that he stole campaign donations entrusted to him as a campaign fiduciary.
A felony case that might have been better brought as a misdemeanor
Besicorp, and its principal officers, contributed about $80,000 in illegal corporate funds to a congressional candidate by reimbursing employees. At the time the corporate criminal case was brought and settled, it was believed that this conduit contribution scheme was motivated by an intention to improperly influence an elected public official in relation to specific matters.
In view of these aggravating considerations, the Assistant United States Attorney handling the matter insisted that the corporation plead to felony charges based in FECA --in this instance a Klein conspiracy and several violations of 18 U.S.C. §1001. Unfortunately, when the plea was presented to the Court, the Judge determined that the corporation's liability was governed by Section 2F1.1 of the USSGs. He then refused to apply the loss table that applies to that guideline, and he assessed the corporation a fine of $36,800 -- which is what the guideline range computed under USSG 2F1.1 allowed.10
This result would not have occurred if 2 U.S.C. §437g(d), a misdemeanor, had been the basis for the plea rather than a felony «fraud» theory such as 18 U.S.C. §1001. USSG 2X5.1 governs the crime described in 2 U.S.C. ~ 437g(d), not by USSG 2F1.1 or USSG 2C1.7,as USSG 2X5.1 applies to offenses where there is no analogous Guideline. USSG 2X5.1, in turn, incorporates 18 U.S.C. §3553, which directs that the appropriate sentence be governed by the historic objectives of criminal law enforcement --retribution, deterrence; rehabilitation and restraint. In this way offenses charged under 2 U.S.C. §437g(d) -- albeit mere misdemeanors -- can easily support six and seven figure fines, because, under USSG 2X5.1, the amount of the fine is unrestricted by the USSGs. Rather, the fines are governed by the enhanced maximums provided for in 18 U.S.C. §3571. While felony charges may have been appropriate because of the specific motive to corruptly influence a member of Congress, the result underscores that given a choice between seeking felony and misdemeanor sanctions, the most effective enforcement may result from choosing to pursue the misdemeanor, particularly where the timeliness, certainty, negotiated sanction, and resource conservation of a plea are guaranteed.
The first task a prosecutor faces in negotiating criminal dispositions for offenses grounded in FECA is to decide whether the appropriate penalty for the offense in question is incarceration or fiscal. If aggravating factors are present [such as corrupt motive, embezzlement or abuse of power by candidates or senior and experienced fund raisers], the proper sanction must emphasize incarceration. On the other hand, if the offender is an «arrogant tycoon» -- or if one or more of the mitigating factors discussed above are present, the prosecutor might appropriately seek a negotiated disposition that emphasizes fiscal sanctions. Of course, in the case of institutional offenders. courts can only impose fiscal penalties.
Where the facts demand incarceration in individual offenders, the preferred course is to charge the case under one or more of the felony theories that Courts have recognized to be applicable to violations grounded in FECA. The sentencing calculations under the USSGs applicable to such felonies will always command jail-type incarceration. On the other hand, where the facts suggest that prosecutorial emphasis on fiscal penalties is the justified, the preferred course is to charge the case under the misdemeanor provisions of FECA11, since USSG 2X5.1, governs violations of this FECA penalty provision and since this USSG entirely frees the fiscal aspects of sentencing calculations from the confines of the Sentencing Guidelines.
Negotiated pleas with institutional offenders are usually best approached as FECA offenses rather than as felonies, unless the prosecutor believes that the facts demand the imposition of collateral consequences (e. g., debarment), which normally inure from felony convictions'. Institutions cannot be incarcerated, only fined.
Even where a prosecutor determines that emphasis on fiscal penalties rather than incarceration is appropriate, (s) he should bear in mind that a serious societal interest is implicated when an offender flouts known statutory duties and prohibitions, and thus shows contempt for the rule of law. Accordingly, negotiated settlements with individual FECA offenders should normally contain some restrictions on liberty (e.g., a brief jail sentence or a period of home confinement) and socially meaningful community service, such as was secured in the FSA/Stewart disposition.
With most FECA violations that involve a 2 U.S.C.S 441b component, negotiated corporate settlements should include a court-supervised «corporate compliance program» to ensure that the institutional offender does not repeat its crime, similar to the one negotiated in FSA.
Finally, in determining the appropriate fiscal sanction for FECA crimes, «proportionality» is a relevant consideration. This means that as far as is feasible, the sanction imposed should inflect the same degree of retribution, and thereby contribute the same degree of deterrence, on all similarly situated offenders. E.g.. the sanction that is appropriate for an arrogant tycoon possessing immense wealth such as Tom Stewart, Simon Fireman, Empire and Daewoo, may not be appropriate for an FECA offender of more modest means such Lalit Gadhia, Ray Norvell or Robert Maloney.
1 Director, Election Crimes Branch, Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of its author, and do not necessarily reflect the policy of the United States Department of Justice on the issues addressed. This paper creates no procedural or substantive rights for private parties, and cannot be relied upon by those whose circumstance may fall within the discussion herein.
This paper is a DRAFT and was last revised on May 26, 1998.
2 2 U.S.C. §441 - 1971 Supp. But see: United States v. Finance Committee to Re-Elect the President. 507 F.2d 1194 (D.C. Cir. 1974) in which a general intent requirement (i.e.. the defendant had to be shown to have known the operable facts that comprised the offense) was read judicially into this primitive criminal sanction.
3 See e.g., AFL-CIO v. FEC. 628 F.2d 97 (D.C, Cir. 1980);
National Right to Work Committee v. FEC. 716 F.2d 1401 (D.C. Cir. 1983); United State v. Curran. 30 F.3d 560 (3d Cir. 1994). See also Ratzlaf v. United States. 510 U.S. 135 (1994).
4 2 U.S.C. §437f, §437g(a)(5) and §438.
5 The «core» features of FECA are 1) that contributions to federal campaigns are limited to relatively small sums; 2) that corporations, unions, banks, government contractors, and foreigners cannot give at all; 3) that contributions must be made through traceable negotiable instruments and not in fungible currency; 4) that financial transactions made for the purpose of influencing federal elections need to be accurately disclosed to the voting public; and 5) contributions to federal campaigns must be made in the name of the person or entity that absorbs the cost of the contribution, and not be made in the names of others who do not do so.
6 See, e.g.. United States v. Hopkins. 916 F.2d 207 (5th Cir. 1990)(18 U.S.C. §371 and §1001); United States v. Curran. 20 F.3d 560 (3d Cir. 1994)(same); United States v. Gabriel. 125 F.3d 89 (2d Cir. 1997) (18 U.S.C. §1001); United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers. Inc. 1998 WL 121493 (D.C. Cir., 1998)(18 U.S.C. §§1341/1346). Also see generally United States v. Hansen. 772 F.2d 940 (D.C. Cir. 1985)(opinion by Scalia, J).
7 The Halper Doctrine held that there were double jeopardy issues involved in the subsequent criminal prosecution of offenders for conduct that had been previously the subject of administrative sanctions. Halper v. United States. 490 U.S. 435 (1989). This double jeopardy rule posed significant obstacles to the prosecution of FECA offenses that the FEC had previously settled through the imposition of administrative sanctions. The Halper case was overturned in Hudson v. United States. 118 S. Ct. 488 (1997), and therefore it is no longer is a negative factor in FECA criminal enforcement.
8 These same policy considerations were present and governed the pleas negotiated in FECA-based cases involving Fireman, Empire, James Lake, and other defendants discussed in more detail below.
9 This subject will be addressed below in the context of the Besicorp disposition.
10 The case on the principal officer is pending and as yet uncharged, and will properly include felony charges if it is brought.
11 2 U.S.C. §437g(d).