Election season will soon be coming to a close and Political Action Committees (PACs) are busy raising money to funnel to candidates and organizations trying to influence legislation. Unfortunately, for the last ten years scammers have been setting up phony PACs that promise to use your money on behalf of your favored candidate or cause, but instead keep the money for their own use.
One of the more notorious PAC scammers is Harold Taub who set up two phony PACs to appeal to both Republican and Democratic donors, but kept never registered the PACs with the the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as required by law and kept the money he received from donors for himself. Taub was convicted of wire fraud and of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act and was sentenced to three years in prison and order to pay back more than 1.1 million dollars to the victims of his crime.
Legitimate PACs are required to file with the Federal Election Commission so before giving to any PAC you should check with the FEC to determine if the PAC has filed the necessary documents. If it isn’t registered it is a scam. Unfortunately, even if you find the PAC soliciting your donation is registered, scammers have registered phony PACs and falsify the financial documentation of their spending which they are required to file so merely because a PAC is registered does not mean that it is legitimate.
Limiting your donations to well established PACs is a good policy to avoid being scammed.
Also, if a PAC doesn’t ask for your employment information and citizenship status it is a scam because legitimate PACs are barred from taking donations from federal contractors or foreign nationals, which is why legitimate PACs will always inquire about your job status and citizenship.
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