A judge sentenced the architect of an illegal, all-cash “shadow campaign” Monday to three months in prison for violating campaign finance laws in the 2010 mayoral election of Vincent Gray.
Jeffrey Thompson, who alleges Gray knew about the illegal cash campaign, pleaded guilty to the campaign corruption in 2014 and cooperated with investigators. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly delivered the unexpected sentence, which exceeded the requests of prosecutors who asked only for six months of home confinement, reports WJLA.
Thompson will spend three months in jail, after which he is sentenced to three months home confinement and three years of probation.
“He was the leader, organizer and mastermind of this conspiracy,” Kollar-Kotelly said at the sentencing.
Thompson used unreported campaign contributions to run a roughly $800,000 all-cash operation to get out the vote for Gray’s mayoral campaign. Several of Gray’s campaign staffers pleaded guilty to participating in the misused contributions scheme, also known as the “shadow campaign.” The former mayor was never charged. Gray, who lost the mayoral race to Muriel Bowser in 2015 due to the scandal, maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.
Thompson claimed in court last year Gray knew all about the “shadow campaign,” actively budgeting out the best way to spend an alleged $425,000 in cash on his voting effort. Thompson, who Gray admitted calling by his alias “Uncle Earl,” also claims he funneled $40,000 to a close friend of Gray’s for home improvements. Gray repeatedly rebukes such claims, saying Thompson is trying to smear him.
Gray won the Democratic primary for the D.C. Council in Ward 7 June 14, defeating a key Bowser ally to retake his former position.
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