MARCH 14, 2008
In one of the largest political fraud cases in recent history, the treasurer of the cash-strapped House Republican fundraising committee stole hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting forged audit reports to divert the cash to his personal accounts.
The longtime treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Christopher Ward, used wire transfers to move the money from committee accounts to other political accounts he controlled as treasurer. He also submitted to banks five years worth of fake audits and other documents to fraudulently secure multi million-dollar loans.
The NRCC, which helps elect Republicans to the House of Representatives, raised nearly $50 million in 2007 and Ward has controlled the committee’s money for five years. Unlike its Democratic counterpart, the NRCC is struggling financially with only $5.7 million in the bank and debts of $2.3 million.
The corrupt treasurer has worked for dozens of other Republican committees in the last decade, which combined have raised more than $400 million. The FBI is investigating whether Ward stole money from them as well.
One insider said Ward would cut checks to himself in small amounts from lawmakers’ campaigns or leadership Political Action Committees. Other times the treasurer used dummy companies as a go between before the money eventually ended up in his account.
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