Dave Levinthal for Business Insider:
But this wildly popular — and demonstrably bogus — fundraising gimmick could soon be dead.
That’s because the Department of Justice on Monday indicated that fraudulent “match” solicitations were one of several misdeeds that factored into a political scam artist’s guilty plea Monday on one count of wire fraud. The man, James Kyle Bell of Las Vegas, now faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine.
“The solicitations promised that individual donations would be ‘5x matched’ by Bell’s PACs. … However, none of the individual donations was ever ‘5x matched’ by Bell or anyone else,” the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia wrote in announcing the guilty plea.
Two former leaders of the Federal Election Commission told Insider that political candidates and committees should now proceed with great caution when wooing prospective donors with “match” promotions.