January 8, 2013 — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Sherry L. Huff, Carey Vaughn Brown, several companies in Mr. Brown’s Internet payday lending empire, and the Republican Union PAC regarding a $1 million “conduit” contribution. 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.
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.
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. Mr. Brown’s businesses have made him rich and, unlike Ms. Huff, he frequently has donated to political candidates and parties.
Other than Ms. Huff’s million dollars, the Republican Union PAC has received only one other donation in the amount of $500. The group used the money to pay for billboards attacking President Obama for supporting same-sex marriage and urging people to vote for Republicans.
Read CREW’s complaints:
- Department of Justice
- Federal Election Commission
Update: On August 4, 2017, CREW filed a lawsuit against the FEC for dismissing the above complaint.