FEC Fines Lawyer $155,000

The Federal Election Commission has fined a Pennsylvania lawyer $155,000 for illegally funneling campaign contributions to former Democratic leader Dick Gephardt’s (Mo.) presidential campaign in 2004. The agency on June 29 finalized a deal with John Karoly, an Allentown, Pa., lawyer who was accused of reimbursing his firm’s employees and their family members for contributions they made to Gephardt’s presidential campaign last cycle. Gephardt’s campaign was not implicated in the case. According to FEC documents, Karoly cut checks and made cash payments of more than $10,000 out of his firm’s account to reimburse family members and employees.As part of his conciliation deal, Karoly is required to pay $55,000 by Aug. 1, followed by five monthly payments of $20,000. “The commission has evidence it believes is sufficient to support its conclusion that there is probably cause to believe that the cash payments ... and the payment by check with the pay to the order of’ line blank ... were reimbursement for their and their spouses contributions to the Gephardt committee, to which John Karoly, Jr. consented,— the agency concluded.

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