Michigan LLC Schemes To Hide the True Source of Campaign Contributions

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A magnifying glass hovering over a $100 bill

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that a $150,000 donor to the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) appears to be a shell corporation established for the purpose of funneling secret donations to the super PAC.

Voters have a right to know who is trying to influence their vote. The evidence indicates that this LLC was used to unlawfully keep voters in the dark about the true source of a $150,000 super PAC contribution.

Montcalm LLC donated $150,000 to the super Political Action Committee (PAC) CLF on Oct. 8, 2020, less than two weeks after its formation on Sept. 28, 2020. The entity does not have a business imprint or an online presence, which suggests that the funds came from a different source, and that Montcalm was used as part of a “straw donor” scheme to hide the true source of the contribution.

A “straw donation” occurs when a donor uses the name of another person or entity to make political contributions. These are illegal because they are a means of evading the law’s transparency requirements and contribution limits.

This is a serious violation and is very similar to the violation that led to the arrest of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Both that case and this one involved an LLC making a six-figure super PAC contribution within weeks of being formed.

The address used for Montcalm LLC’s contribution is associated with the billionaire Meijer family, heirs to the Meijer supermarket chain. The Meijer Family Foundation is located at that same address, and a Meijer family member has used the address when making contributions to Democratic party committees.

One day after the $150,000 contribution, CLF began making independent expenditures in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional district opposing candidate Hillary Scholten, who is running against a member of the Meijer family, Peter Meijer.

The FEC must take this matter seriously and investigate this illegal straw donor scheme and also determine whether Montclam failed to properly register as a political committee.