COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose referred 162 alleged violations of Ohio campaign finance laws to the Ohio Elections Commission. Primarily, the violations relate to Rep. Larry Householder’s campaign to become the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. The referral comes after weeks of review into campaign finance documents submitted to the Secretary’s office and the Federal Election Commission.
“Our campaign finance & elections team has spent countless hours digging deep into campaign finance reports -- connecting the dots and building on the work done by the FBI as detailed in their criminal complaint,” said LaRose. “Today’s referral to the Ohio Elections Commission is the next step in continuing to hold Representative Householder and his cronies accountable.”
On July 21, LaRose referred 19 items related to the criminal complaints against State Representative Larry Householder, Jeff Longstreth, Neil Clark, Matthew Borges and Juan Cespedes. In that press release it was stated: “these nineteen items likely do not represent a comprehensive list of violations of Ohio laws by the named defendants. Secretary LaRose, his elections law team, and his campaign finance division will continue to review the relevant campaign finance reports and make additional referrals as violations become known.”
The result of that review includes the following allegations:
- Individuals solicited and corporations gave corporate money to aid candidates for election in the 2018 Primary, 2020 General and 2020 Primary elections.
- Individuals and entities established shell companies and utilized existing entities to knowingly conceal or misrepresent contributions given and received.
- Individuals converted funds for personal use and knowingly gave funds to other beneficiaries of a campaign fund and other persons.
- Individuals and entities gave money in connection with an issue for prohibited purposes, including placing another to serve as an agent in the opposition committee, paying petition gathers to improperly discharge their duties, and using intimidation or threats to influence individuals to refrain from signing petitions.
Individuals circulated and filed a misleading petition and failed to file required disclosures.