A Delaware businessman pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of violating campaign finance laws and two counts of filing false information on his income taxes.
Christopher Tigani, the former president of NKS Distributors Inc., asked employees to donate to federal and state candidates and then reimbursed them, sometimes by using corporate funds, according to a Justice Department statement. Such reimbursements are illegal under the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Tigani solicited political contributions to candidates running for the White House and the Senate, as well as candidates pursuing state offices, but it was unclear what candidates received the donations. The illegal donations totaled at least $219,800.
Tigani was also an active individual donor. According to CQ MoneyLine, he gave more than $57,000 to federal candidates, committees and 527 organizations since the late 1990s. Vice President Joseph Biden, who represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, was the largest recipient of Tigani’s generosity, with $12,500 in contributions to his Senate campaign, presidential bid and political action committee since 2001.
Tigani also donated $12,500 to the National Beer Wholesalers Association Political Action Committee, $11,000 to the Democratic State Committee Delaware and $10,000 to the Democratic Governors Association.
He could be sentenced to up to five years in prison for each of the campaign finance law violations and up to three years for each tax violation.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.