Waltz down for ten
Former Indiana state Senator Brent Waltz and ex-casino executive John Keeler have received federal prison sentences for devising and taking part in election finance schemes.
ten months in prison
On Wednesday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana (SDIN) announced that a judge sentenced 48-year-old Waltz to ten months in prison. The DOJ also shared the news via Twitter:
According to the DOJ, Waltz pleaded guilty in April 2022 to receiving $40,500 in illegal donations towards his failed bid for Congress. The ex-senator also entered a guilty plea for “lying and misleading FBI agents” who were sniffing out the illegal money trail.
US District Chief Judge James R. Sweeney II also ordered that, upon his release from jail, Waltz will be monitored for two years by the US Probation Office. He must also pony up $40,500 as a fine.
The feds tossed three charges against Waltz as part of his plea deal.
Keeler gets two
Keeler, 72 — ex-vice president and general counsel of Indiana casino and racetrack operator New Centaur LLC — was the source of the illegal donations. Judge Sweeney sentenced the Indianapolis native to two months in a federal jail after he pled guilty to causing the filing of a false tax return.
Keeler paid political consultant Kelley Rogers $41,000 from New Centaur funds
Court documents revealed that Keeler paid political consultant Kelley Rogers $41,000 from New Centaur funds. He then directed Rogers to funnel $25,000 of the cash into the 2015 Brent Waltz for Congress campaign via a number of straw donors and Waltz himself.
To further obscure the donation’s provenance, Keeler adapted New Centaur’s federal tax return. He filed this in a certain way “to falsely describe the $41,000 payment to Rogers as a deductible business expense.”
Keeler also pleaded guilty in April 2022, a week after Waltz admitted his guilt.
According to the DOJ press release published Wednesday, US Attorney for SDIN Zachary A. Myers said: “Secretly funneling illegal casino money into political campaigns is a serious crime and the criminals who do so will be held accountable.”
IRS, Criminal Investigation special agent in charge Justin Campbell deemed the prison terms just deserts for the pair. The sentencing, Campbell said, proved “there are consequences for the misuse of positions of trust within both the private and public sector.”