Virginia businessman William Danielczyk was sentenced May 31 to two years and four months in prison for illegally reimbursing $186,000 in campaign contributions made by straw donors to Hillary Clinton (U.S. v. Danielczyk, E.D. Va., Criminal No. 11-85, sentencing 5/31/13).The sentence was among the toughest ever for campaign finance violations but was less than the five years in prison recommended by federal prosecutors (3522 Money & Politics Report, 5/30/13). Prosecutors cited Danielczyk’s efforts to cover up his crime in submissions to the Federal Election Commission and obstruction of an FBI investigation.
Danielczyk’s case was also significant because it presented the Supreme Court an opportunity to reconsider its holding in FEC v. Beaumont, which says it is constitutional to ban direct corporate contributions to candidates.