The Washington Post

Former contractor for Jeffrey Thompson charged in alleged ‘straw donor’ scheme

A former contractor for the D.C. businessman at the center of an ongoing political corruption probe was charged Thursday with allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

Federal prosecutors accused Stanley L. Straughter, the owner of a Philadelphia marketing firm, of allegedly concealing the source of his corporate contributions at the direction of Jeffrey Thompson and his accounting firm.

Straughter, who runs Oak Lane Consulting Group, is the second person to be charged in the last week with allegedly participating in a straw donor scheme that prosecutors say was orchestrated by Thompson.

The misdemeanor charge filed in U.S. District Court came in the form a criminal information that can only be filed with a defendant’s consent and suggests that a plea deal is likely. Straughter’s attorney Steven J. McCool declined to comment.

Thompson is alleged to have backed a secret effort to help the 2010 mayoral campaign of Mayor Vincent C. Gray, in addition to funding straw donor schemes like the one outlined in the two-page charging document filed in Straughter’s case.

D.C. corruption scandals: A look at the investigations and where they stand.

Thompson is identified as “Executive A” and his former accounting firm as “Company A.” He is the subject of a grand jury investigation, according to court records, and is not charged with a crime.

The charges against Straughter are tied to contributions his company made to congressional candidates in 2010. According to federal campaign finances records, Straughter contributed that election cycle to the late Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter and to D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Straughter “knew that the contributions made in his name and the names of his family members were, in truth and in fact, being made by Company A, at the direction of Executive A.,” according to the court filing.

Staff writer Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.

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