Steele: No 'Funny Business' With Campaign Money
Michael S. Steele, the newly-elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, said yesterday that if there were any "funny business" going on with his 2006 Senate campaign, he would have been caught by federal agents by now.
Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Steele dismissed the claims by Alan B. Fabian, a GOP fundraiser who was finance chairman for Steele's Senate run, as coming from a "convicted felon who is trying to get a reduced sentence." The former Maryland lieutenant governor has been on the defense since allegations that he directed campaign funds to a defunct company run by his sister were reported Saturday by The Washington Post's Henri E. Cauvin.
Indeed, Fabian was trying to get a reduced sentence for his part in a $40 million fraud scheme. Fabian, 44, was sentenced in October to nine years in federal prison for running schemes, including a Ponzi operation, that defrauded companies, creditors and a fellow church member. The Christian philanthropist was originally indicted on 26 counts, but pleaded guilty to two: mail and tax fraud.
According to sealed documents inadvertently sent to The Post, Fabian told federal prosecutors that Steele paid his sister $37,262 for catering and web services, but the Bethesda-based company, Brown Sugar Unlimited, had been shuttered for nearly a year before the payment, records show. Turner opened the company in November 2003 and closed it in March 2006.
Turner, the one-time wife of ex-professional boxer Mike Tyson, has been decidedly low key throughout most of her brother's career. A Steele spokesman said federal agents have contacted Turner in recent days, but she has declined to any comment to The Post.
Other allegations by Fabian include claims that Steele paid a law firm $75,000 from his state campaign for work that was never performed, and that he or an aide transferred more than $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank to another without approval.
By Derek Kravitz |
February 9, 2009; 11:22 AM ET
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