Jeffrey Thompson, a Washington businessman and government contractor, was charged today with funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to local and federal candidates, including the D.C. mayor and a presidential candidate.
Thompson has long been reported as a central figure in a far-reaching campaign finance probe by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, but today was the first day prosecutors attached him publicly to the investigation. According to the criminal information filed today, he was charged with two counts of conspiracy—one for violations in federal campaigns and one for violations at the local level.
Thompson is scheduled to make his first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia later today. The case is assigned to District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. The filing of an information means Thompson waived his right to an indictment by a federal grand jury, often a sign that a defendant intends to plead guilty.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
Williams & Connolly represents Thompson, according to court records. Tobin Romero, a partner in the white-collar defense practice, could not immediately be reached for comment. Williams & Connolly partner Brendan Sullivan Jr. has represented Thompson for more than a year as he wrangled with prosecutors over the review of millions of pages of documents seized in 2012 under a search warrant.
Sullivan also could not immediately be reached.
According to the charging documents filed today, Thompson allegedly orchestrated shadow campaigns from 2006 to 2012, illegally reimbursing donors for their contributions to candidates. At the federal level, according to prosecutors, he made unlawful contributions to 13 federal candidates and multicandidate political action committees.
In 2008, he allegedly made $608,750 in unreported contributions to support a presidential candidate. The Washington Post previously identified the candidate as Hillary Clinton. Last year, prosecutors charged a marketing executive, Troy White, with organizing an unofficial get-out-the-vote effort for Clinton that cost the same amount Thompson was charged with making today.
Locally, Thompson is accused of making nearly $1.5 million in unreported contributions to candidates for mayor and the D.C. Council. In 2010, he allegedly made $668,800 in unreported contributions to support a candidate for mayor. The U.S. attorney’s investigation has focused on the 2010 campaign of Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat.
Gray, who is running for reelection, has denied any wrongdoing.
From 2006 to 2011, prosecutors charged Thompson with making unlawful contributions to at least 15 mayor and city council candidates.