Former Chabot campaign manager charged with embezzling $1.4M, feds say

Former Chabot campaign manager charged with embezzling $1.4M, feds say

CINCINNATI (FOX19/Cincinnati Enquirer) - A former campaign manager for Rep. Steve Chabot is charged with embezzling $1.4 million from the congressman’s campaign.

James Schwartz II, 41, was federally charged with wire fraud and falsification of records related to the embezzlement, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal Patel.

A news release says a plea document was filed in the case Tuesday which will be considered by the court at a future plea hearing.

Schwartz worked as a consultant on behalf of the Chabot campaign through his companies, Fountain Square Group LLC and Prime Media LLC, from 2011 through 2019, and also served as de facto treasurer for the campaign, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

In September of 2019, an attorney for Chabot’s campaign, Mark Braden, said the campaign appeared to be the victim of a financial crime, and campaign finances were undergoing a “thorough audit.”

Schwartz allegedly wrote checks from the campaign to himself and his companies for more than was actually earned, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The 41-year-old is accused of covering up the embezzlement by misrepresenting the actual amount he and the companies made in reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), officials announced.

It’s also alleged that Schwartz fabricated bank statements and other documents in submissions to the FEC in order to conceal the embezzling.

“The campaign was deeply disappointed to learn the scale of Mr. Schwartz’s crimes and is grateful to all the officials involved for bringing the matter to its appropriate resolution,” Chabot’s attorney Megan Sowards Newton said in a statement.

“Jamie voluntarily turned himself in to the federal authorities some time ago,” Schwartz’s attorney Kevin Tierney told our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He accepts responsibility for his actions and is extremely remorseful.”

Schwartz faces up to 20 years in prison in connection with the charges.

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