By SDCN Editor
Three people were sentenced to prison Tuesday for orchestrating and implementing a scheme to solicit millions of dollars in contributions to two political action committees (PACs) based on false and misleading representations that the funds would be used to support presidential candidates during and after the 2016 election cycle.
On April 24, Matthew Nelson Tunstall, 36, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Tunstall previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to cause false statements to the Federal Election Commission and one count of money laundering.
Robert Reyes Jr., 40, of San Juan Bautista, California, was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison. Reyes previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to cause false statements to the Federal Election Commission and one count of money laundering.
Kyle George Davies, 31, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced to five years of probation. Davies previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to cause false statements to the Federal Election Commission.
According to court documents, from 2016 through at least April 2017, Tunstall, Reyes, and Davies operated two PACs – Liberty Action Group PAC and Progressive Priorities PAC – that solicited contributions from the public via robocalls and radio and internet advertisements. The two PACs represented that the contributions would be used to support the presidential nominees of the two major political parties, respectively. Instead, the co-conspirators used the funds to enrich themselves and to fund additional fraudulent solicitations. Specifically, the two PACs raised approximately $4 million in contributions during the 2016 election cycle and subsequent months.
To conceal the origin and nature of the proceeds, Tunstall and Reyes instructed a third-party vendor to withdraw approximately $353,000 from the two PACs in excess of the payments for services rendered, then deposit the excess payments into accounts held by shell companies that they controlled.
The FBI San Antonio Field Office, Austin Resident Agency investigated the case.