Scam PACs Allegedly Stole $3.5m from Trump Voters

Three men have been charged with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering after allegedly running scam fund-raising operations that tricked Trump donors into handing over millions.

The three defendants are Matthew Nelson Tunstall, 34, of Los Angeles; Robert Reyes Jr, 38, of Hollister, California; and Kyle George Davies, 29, of Austin, Texas.

They’re accused of soliciting funds from voters during the 2016 election cycle via two fraudulent political action committees (PACs): Liberty Action Group PAC and Progressive Priorities PAC.

They allegedly managed to trick donors into handing over $3.5m, which they pocketed and used to fund more fraudulent adverts, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ). Tunstall and Reyes are also alleged to have laundered more than $350,000 from the scheme via a third-party vendor.

Although the indictment did not name the candidates that the trio was purporting to collect for. Reports claim they used the name and likeness of Donald Trump to solicit donations.

A Politico investigation in 2019 found a dozen pro-Trump PACs which had no affiliation with the former President. In fact, the FBI issued a warning in April this year about scams of this sort.

One fraudulent fundraiser, Harold Russell Taub, was sentenced to 36 months in prison after soliciting more than $1.6m in donations, which were spent on “things like excessive travel, wine, cigars, trips to Las Vegas, gambling,” according to the FBI.

Tunstall and Reyes are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and make a false statement to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), multiple counts of wire fraud and multiple counts of money laundering.

Davies is charged with conspiracy to commit wire and make a false statement to the FEC and multiple counts of wire fraud.

If found guilty on all counts, the first two face a maximum jail term of 125 years, while Davies faces 65 years.

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