“Rogers preyed upon his victims’ political beliefs with the intent of enriching his companies, his business partners, and himself,” U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger said in a statement.
Prosecutors said court documents showed Rogers operated multiple PACs from August 2012 through last year. Among them, prosecutors said, were the Conservative StrikeForce, Conservative Majority Fund and Tea Party Majority Fund.
In one instance, prosecutors said, “Rogers, working with an email vendor, represented through CSF” in and around 2013 that contributions would “support” campaigns for candidates for attorney general and governor in Virginia.
Among other things, the prosecutors said, Rogers indicated that the contributions would be used for get-out-the-vote efforts and for attorneys to ensure election integrity.
He later said donations would go to support military veterans, according to prosecutors.
But prosecutors said Rogers spent nearly all of the raised money to benefit himself, his associates and his PACs. They said most of the donor money went toward soliciting more donations.
Ken Cuccinelli II, a Republican who ran for Virginia governor in 2013, sued the Conservative StrikeForce and the Annapolis political consulting firm Strategic Campaign Group in 2014, alleging they raised almost $2.2 million to support his gubernatorial campaign but steered little money to him.
The Conservative StrikeForce agreed in 2015 to pay Cuccinelli $85,000 to settle the lawsuit. Strategic Campaign Group, of which Rogers was a leader, said it would turn over donor information.
Cuccinelli now serves as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In 2017, federal authorities searched the offices of Strategic Campaign Group, The Washington Post reported at the time.
As part of Tuesday’s plea, prosecutors said that Rogers agreed to pay $491,299 in restitution to victims of the fraud scheme, as well as a forfeiture judgment of $208,954.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.