Man who stole political donations sentenced to 2 years

AP News
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Posted: Nov 04, 2015 1:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man who stole more than $1 million in contributions to conservative political causes, including campaign funds for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was sentenced to two years in prison by a Kentucky judge.

Samuel K. Pate Jr. owned a Virginia company that contracted with campaigns and political action committees to process campaign funds. Prosecutors say he stole contributions totaling more than $1.1 million for personal expenses and luxury items.

Pate, who is the nephew of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, asked to be placed on house arrest, saying he felt "a lot of pressure" to be financially successful, The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1RTbzSx) reported.

"Without achieving something great like these family members did, I felt like a failure," he said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers.

On Tuesday, Stivers declined the request. Additionally, Pate must pay restitution.

The investigation began after a McConnell donor didn't receive a customary thank you note from the senator's campaign.

Pate's attorney, Scott C. Cox, noted that sentencing guidelines call for 41 to 53 months and said, "we believe the court did justice here."

Pate owned and operated Stonewood Marketing, based in Bedford, Virginia, which was hired to handle bank deposits and record keeping. Donors would send checks to his clients, and the contributions were automatically forwarded through the U.S. mail to his firm for processing, Kuhn said. The checks were supposed to be deposited into his clients' bank accounts.

Prosecutors said clients included campaign committees for McConnell, as well as Christians in Defense of Israel and the House Conservative Fund.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com