Publisher admits false statement to US House

AP News
Posted: Apr 14, 2011 6:44 PM

A newspaper publisher pleaded guilty Thursday to filing a false statement with the U. S. House of Representatives about the source of funds used to pay for a trip in 2007 by members of Congress, including Rep. Charles Rangel.

Karl Rodney, the publisher of Carib News, admitted that he failed to list a foreign country and a private company as providing round-trip airfare, hotels and meals for members of Congress to attend an annual Caribbean multinational business conference. Rodney entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Washington.

On his financial disclosure form for 2007, Rangel, D-N.Y., said he attended the Carib News Foundation event in Antigua and Barbuda from Nov. 8-11. According to court papers in the case, Rodney is the foundation's chief executive officer.

Rodney has organized the conference for more than a decade in the Caribbean.

Rodney admitted he falsely stated that Carib News Foundation was the only entity that paid for the members' travel and that the foundation had not accepted funds from any other source earmarked for that purpose.

Starting in 2007, the House required advance approval by the ethics committee for privately financed travel and required trip sponsors to file trip forms saying who would pay for transportation, lodging and meals.

Rodney faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine and sentencing is scheduled for July 22. Federal sentencing guidelines for this charge call for jail time of up to six months.