On August 4, 2017, CREW filed a lawsuit against the FEC for dismissing an administrative complaint against Sherry L. Huff, Carey Vaughn Brown, the Republican Union PAC, and several companies in Mr. Brown’s payday lending empire for violating FECA’s ban on making political contributions in the name of another, knowingly permitting one’s name to be used to effect a contribution in the name of another, and knowingly accepting a contribution made by one person in the name of another.
On January 8, 2013, CREW filed a complaint with the FEC pointing out that Ms. Huff, an employee of Mr. Brown, appears to have made the $1 million contribution to the Republican Union PAC for Mr. Brown or one of his many companies. Ms. Huff owns two modest homes in Georgia, assessed at slightly more than $125,000 in total, and for years has worked as a bookkeeper and financial officer for several companies in Mr. Brown’s payday lending empire. She had never before made any federal or state political contributions. Meanwhile, Mr. Brown’s businesses have made him rich and, unlike Ms. Huff, he frequently has donated to political candidates and parties.
Federal law prohibits both making a contribution in the name of another person and allowing someone else to use your name to make a contribution. The willful failure to report such contributions totaling more than $25,000 in a calendar year is a felony punishable by up to five years in jail and fines.