Murtha-linked lobbyist arrested on corruption charges

posted at 10:12 am on August 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After the death of John Murtha, media interest in the corruption probe of a lobbying shop run by one of his former aides dissipated, but investigatory interest continued.  Yesterday, the Department of Justice arrested and charged Paul Magliocchetti with eleven counts of corruption and conspiracy, alleging a scheme to get hundreds of thousands of dollars from political contributions and federal contracting:

Paul Magliocchetti, president of the Arlington, Virginia, lobbying firm PMA Group Inc., was arrested and charged with using intermediaries to skirt federal campaign- contribution limits, the U.S. Justice Department said.

“Magliocchetti orchestrated a scheme to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal conduit and corporate federal campaign contributions in an effort to enrich himself and PMA by increasing the firm’s influence and prestige,” the Justice Department alleged today in a statement.

A grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday returned an 11-count indictment charging the lobbyist with making illegal payments and making false statements to a federal agency. The document was unsealed today. He faces as long as five years in prison if convicted on any of the most serious counts.

Murtha has long since passed the point of danger in these developments, but that’s not true of his colleagues in Congress.  PMA was linked to other Democrats, notably Rep. Pete Visclosky of Indiana.  The DoJ subpoenaed his records in May 2009 as part of their probe into Magliocchetti, and Visclosky’s ties to PMA may have even surpassed those of Murtha.

The false statements may have to do with strawman donors, a situation reported by the Washington Post in February 2009.  The listings may have covered attempts by Magliocchetti to launder donations to key members of Congress through false listings of lobbyists.  The New York Times followed up with their own story about PMA’s strawman donors, and made more of a connection to influence-peddling:

Former PMA staff members familiar with the inquiry say prosecutors’ initial questions have focused on the possibility that Mr. Magliocchetti used straw campaign contributors — a Florida sommelier and a golf club executive, for example, appear to have given large sums in coordination with PMA — as a front to funnel illegal donations to friendly lawmakers, a felony that could carry a minimum sentence of five years.

More alarming to lawmakers and aides, however, is that prosecutors may turn their attention to the dinners at the Alpine and Capital Grille or other gifts they might have accepted from Mr. Magliocchetti — potential violations of longstanding Congressional ethics rules that could lead to more serious bribery charges if linked to official acts.

“All the combustibles are here for a very salacious set of allegations that could go far beyond his campaign finance problems,” said Stanley Brand, a veteran Washington criminal defense lawyer known for representing Democrats.

Murtha died before prosecutors could get indictments for Magliocchetti, but Visclosky and his peers are still very much alive.  They had better hope that Magliocchetti can keep his mouth shut, but a man facing 11 counts of serious federal crimes has a tendency to loosen his tongue.


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porky porky pork

blatantblue on August 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Squeal like a pig for me.

Kafir on August 6, 2010 at 10:15 AM

The most ethical administration Evah…

Too bad honest John died in the knick of time. I would have enjoyed seeing him do the perp walk.

Kuffar on August 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I read that Jim Moran (D-VA) was involved also. Fingers crossed!!!

Cindy Munford on August 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Murtha died before prosecutors could get indictments for Magliocchetti

Funny how that works…..

conservnut on August 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Too bad honest John died in the knick of time. I would have enjoyed seeing him do the perp walk. – Kuffar

I’d like to see the Navy NOT name a ship after him.

Tony737 on August 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM

But somehow this won’t garner even 1/100th the news press that Abramoff did…

Skywise on August 6, 2010 at 10:22 AM

MOST ETHICAL, OPEN CONGAHHHHHHH F*CK IT.

Good Lt on August 6, 2010 at 10:29 AM

nothing to see here folks. Without the “R” connections, this story goes nowhere

ted c on August 6, 2010 at 10:32 AM

I am so surprised.

The Rock on August 6, 2010 at 10:33 AM

This guy was dirty and everyone in the lobbying world knew it, just like we knew it about Abramoff before he was busted. But everyone also knew he was the go-to guy if you wanted a defense earmark. He was actually much more effective in that regard and responsible for much more systemic corruption than Abramoff, who was more or less a two-bit con artist with an inflated ego.

Don’t forget that the only people who went to jail over the Abramoff deal were Bob Ney, who chaired the relatively obscure House Administration Committee, and Ney’s former chief of staff who went to work for Abramoff. Jack Murtha chaired the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and controlled hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending each year. He was one of the two or three most powerful members of the House.

rockmom on August 6, 2010 at 10:33 AM

nothing to see here folks. Without the “R” connections, this story goes nowhere
ted c on August 6, 2010 at 10:32 AM

That can change next January. We know the DOJ will stall but maybe we can get some oversight back.

bluemarlin on August 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM

It always amazes me how $50,000 given to a legislator can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Nice return on investment there.

Jeff2161 on August 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Looks like all that is left are African-Americans that are doing wrong…

right2bright on August 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM

He’s gonna just love them thar Big House Tamales where he’s headin’!

pilamaye on August 6, 2010 at 10:49 AM

It always amazes me how $50,000 given to a legislator can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Nice return on investment there.
Jeff2161 on August 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM

They just see 50k that they otherwise would not have while thinking someone will get those millions either way, they are despicable.

bluemarlin on August 6, 2010 at 10:50 AM

I’m shocked the DOJ is investigating anyone outside of Republicans, Tea Partiers and typical white people.

This has to be a ploy of some sort.

darwin on August 6, 2010 at 10:52 AM

It always amazes me how $50,000 given to a legislator can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Nice return on investment there.

Jeff2161 on August 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM

It’s easy giving away other peoples money.

darwin on August 6, 2010 at 10:52 AM

It always amazes me how $50,000 given to a legislator can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Nice return on investment there.
Jeff2161 on August 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM

The 50K is theirs, and therefore real. The hundreds of millions are just leaves off the Taxpayer Tree. Meaningless.

Wouldn’t you exchange 50,000 real dollars for a pile of someone else’s Monopoly money?

MrScribbler on August 6, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Looks like all that is left are African-Americans that are doing wrong…

right2bright on August 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Only in Pelosi’s wildest dreams are the investigations over!

Freddy on August 6, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Democrats are doing everything they can to innoculate themselves against Republican-led investigations next year. It’s all a huge smoke screen, designed to get the public sick and tired of Congressional hearings before the real ones even start.

Step one: Blame the black Congressmen.

Step two: Blame the dead Congressmen….

logis on August 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Squeal like a pig for me.

Kafir on August 6, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Heh. When I was last in North Carolina, I saw a license plate stating: PIGLOVR. Seems appropriate.

GTR640 on August 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Magliocchetti will sing like a canary.

GarandFan on August 6, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Obama promised to soar above lobyists and miscellaneous bad deeds. This is unexpected.

seven on August 6, 2010 at 11:20 AM

I should think John Murtha’s nephew, Robert Murtha, is still worthy of investigation. He was paid a few mil (no bid contracts) for writing some phantom code for the defense dept (naturally).

pain train on August 6, 2010 at 11:31 AM

When are we going to hear Pelosi’s name as a participant?

She’s done almost everything she can to shield her beloved lap dogs from any kind of scrutiny. Was that just out of friendship, and party loyalty, or will we hear she was a willing participant in this corruption, and was protecting herself, as much as she was trying to protect others?

capejasmine on August 6, 2010 at 11:39 AM

When are we going to hear Pelosi’s name as a participant?

She’s done almost everything she can to shield her beloved lap dogs from any kind of scrutiny. Was that just out of friendship, and party loyalty, or will we hear she was a willing participant in this corruption, and was protecting herself, as much as she was trying to protect others?

capejasmine on August 6, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Conspiracy to committ or conspiracy to obstruct. Both are felonies. I think both shoes fit Pelosi quite nicely.

BobMbx on August 6, 2010 at 11:42 AM

He’s gonna just love them thar Big House Tamales where he’s headin’!

pilamaye on August 6, 2010 at 10:49 AM

“Hey, FNG….pick up my soap.”

BobMbx on August 6, 2010 at 11:43 AM

I read that Jim Moran (D-VA) was involved also. Fingers crossed!!!

Cindy Munford on August 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Oooooohhh, I think I just felt a little tingle go up my leg!

Oldnuke on August 6, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Here’s to hoping this is just the beginning of unraveling the corruption in that Voter District.

listens2glenn on August 6, 2010 at 11:58 AM

This has to be a ploy of some sort.

darwin on August 6, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Murtha supported Clinton against Obama in the Primary, didn’t he?

Oldnuke on August 6, 2010 at 12:00 PM

An Army buddy of mine who lives in Pittsburgh told me a while back that Murtha was dirty – it’s what happens when you lie down with pigs – no offense to self-respecting pigs meant.

LarryG on August 6, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Reporter*: “Nancy, did you drain that swamp yet?”

Nancy: “Palomino!”

_____

*Yeah, I know — it’ll never happen

hillbillyjim on August 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I read that Jim Moran (D-VA) was involved also. Fingers crossed!!!

Cindy Munford on August 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Hell, I’m praying a novena. I want that sonofabitch out of there after that sham of a “town hall meeting” he orchestrated.

manwithblackhat on August 6, 2010 at 1:25 PM

manwithblackhat on August 6, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Several years ago Moran visited the plant where I worked. In a room full of ex navy nukes, people who had actually served on warships carrying nuclear weapons and going places that he couldn’t even pronounce, he tried to impress us by telling us that he’d been in meetings where they had discussed things that would just “Curl your toes!”. Stuff that we just couldn’t imagine. It was clear that he had no idea who his audience was. Looking around the room you could see people switching their minds off.

Oldnuke on August 6, 2010 at 3:05 PM

But somehow this won’t garner even 1/100th the news press that Abramoff did… Skywise on August 6, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Hey, ABC, NBC, nor CBS covered the Misourri vote renouncing OboobaCare 71% / 29%.

The sun rises in the east.

Akzed on August 6, 2010 at 4:05 PM