Campaign Legal Center Alleges Delaware Corporation Served as “Straw Donor” To Hide the True Source of Over $2.5 Million Going to Federal PACs


WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against “Ardleigh Impact Corporation” (Ardleigh) and any unknown person(s) that made over $2.5 million in contributions to six federal committees in Ardleigh’s name, which is a violation of federal campaign finance laws.
The complaint alleges that Ardleigh, which was registered in Delaware in 2023, was used to hide the true source(s) of over $2.5 million in contributions made to six different federal committees since February 2024. The committees that received this money include the Congressional Leadership Fund; AFC Victory Fund; Buckeye Leadership Fund, Inc.; Conservatives for American Excellence Inc.; Defend Ohio Values PAC; and More Jobs, Less Government.
“Straw donor” contributions are prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) because they undermine electoral transparency and deprive voters of essential information.  

While straw donor schemes are illegal, they have proliferated since the Citizens United ruling, which has allowed wealthy special interests to funnel unlimited amounts of money — often in secret — into our elections,” said Saurav Ghosh, director of federal campaign finance reform at Campaign Legal Center. “Voters have a right to know who is spending money to try and influence their votes and our government. Left unchecked, straw donor schemes like Ardleigh risk depriving voters of the information they need to meaningfully participate in the democratic process.” 

Ardleigh appears to have been used for the sole purpose of hiding the identities of the true contributors who provided over $2.5 million to these committees. The corporation provides no information on the true source(s) of this money, nor does it appear to have engaged in any commercial activities in the months leading up to the disbursement of these funds. This supports finding reason to believe that another source had to have provided Ardleigh with the money needed to make these contributions.
The FEC has issued civil fines in the recent past to those operating straw donor schemes to conceal the true sources of campaign spending. Federal campaign finance laws require transparency in all electoral spending. The FEC needs to investigate this straw donor scheme so that the public can know who is behind the $2.5 million contributed in Ardleigh’s name. 

See the complaint here.