In court Thursday, a D.C. businessman admitted his role to fund both local and federal elections. The development came as part of a criminal probe to unravel a complex web of illegal campaign contributions in the District. News4's Tom Sherwood has more on the new details of the expanding federal case.
An accounting firm executive pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor for making false campaign contributions and accepting reimbursements for them.
According to court documents, Lee A. Calhoun made $160,000 in straw contributions over a 10-year span, including $76,000 to D.C. campaigns.
A lawyer for Calhoun told reporters those contributions, and many others, were reimbursed by Jeffrey Thompson -- marking the first time Thompson's name has been publicly linked to the scheme other than by unnamed sources.
He has only been referred to as "executive A" in court proceedings.
Thompson has declined to comment throughout the investigation.
Thursday's hearing offered the first real view inside Thompson's firm, Bazilio Cobb Associates, and a decade of alleged phony contributions in D.C.
Prosecutors said it's possible that millions of dollars were given out and reimbursed.
Calhoun's case is just the latest development in an effort to untangle a "shadow campaign" allegedly orchestrated by Thompson that provided $650,000 in illegal contributions to Vincent Gray's 2010 mayoral campaign, although no direct link to Gray himself has been made.