For eight years, former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot was able to steal $1.42 million from the campaign.
Jamie Schwartz’s scheme was described as elaborate by federal prosecutors. Prosecutors said in documents filed ahead of Schwartz’s sentencing that the steps he took to conceal the years of theft were “even more elaborate.”
Schwartz knew he was in trouble when the Federal Election Commission began an audit of the campaign in 2019. Prosecutors allege that he falsified official records, forged bank records, and even lied to the FEC.
It all became too much at some point. Prosecutors claimed Schwartz “stacked lie upon lie upon lie.”
Schwartz, 42, turned himself in and pleaded guilty last year to charges of wire fraud and record falsification in a federal investigation.
Schwartz is expected to be sentenced to no more than 32 months in prison in federal court in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Mr. Jamie Schwartz
As part of his plea agreement, the Elder High School and Ohio State University graduate will pay the campaign $1.42 million in restitution. Prosecutors have stated that this figure is a conservative estimate of how much he obtained through the embezzlement.
Schwartz wrote checks from the Chabot campaign’s bank account “to himself and for the benefit” of his consulting and media companies, according to newly filed sentencing documents.
“To put it simply, when he ran out of money, Schwartz cut himself a check from campaign funds,” prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, the fraud lasted from 2011 to 2019.
Prosecutors claim Schwartz lied to the campaign and the FEC about his father being the campaign’s treasurer, despite the fact that Schwartz was the unofficial treasurer. His father is a Bridgetown jeweller who never worked for Chabot’s campaign.
Prosecutors claimed that as de facto treasurer, Schwartz concealed his theft by filing false reports with the FEC that overstated the amount of money he paid himself and his companies. Schwartz also misrepresented the campaign’s contributions and the amount of money in its bank account.
According to sentencing documents, the 2019 audit was triggered by Schwartz’s sloppy reporting regarding a fundraiser. According to the documents, an FEC audit team visited Cincinnati in July 2019 to conduct a field audit.
According to prosecutors, Schwartz went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office about a month later, realising he couldn’t continue the cover-up, and reported “his criminal behaviour.”
Schwartz, who is married with two children, has worked as a landscaper, an electrician, and a freight broker since being charged and shutting down his businesses. In court documents, his attorney, Kevin Tierney, stated that he is aware that his political career is over.
Tierney stated that Schwartz “is committed to doing everything he can to accept responsibility for his actions and rebuild his life so he can be a better father, brother, son, friend, employee, and community member.”