NRCC official sentenced in theft
A federal judge Thursday sentenced Christopher J. Ward to 37 months in prison for stealing more than $844,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee and other political fundraising committees for whom he worked as treasurer.
"I am truly sorry for what I did and I take full responsibility," said Ward, 42, formerly of Bethesda.
"This is a serious offense... You stole from small donor funds that worked to engage in political debate and the electoral process," said U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District. She added, "I'm not sure what happened to you, but you clearly lost your moral compass."
Kollar Kotelly ordered Ward to forfeit $844,718, including $812,825 in restitution.
Ward, divorced from his wife and mother of three children, aged 5 through 12, has turned over about $300,000, including proceeds from his house, and has no assets. The judge ordered him to pay back $150 a month upon release, in addition to tax and child support obligations.
Ward served as treasurer for 83 GOP committees in a decade, including at the NRCC from 2003 until 2008, and admitted stealing funds for seven years before being discovered in 2008 The cash augmented an income that eventually topped $300,000-a-year, paying for country club and private school tuition fees, home remodeling projects and vacation rentals. He will begin his sentence in January.
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