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For Immediate Release                                                                               Contact: Bob Biersack
April 23, 2007                                                                                                         George Smaragdis
                                                                                                                              Michelle Ryan

FEC Fines Jamie Jacob Morgan $60,000 for Knowing and Willful Violations  

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission) recently entered into a conciliation agreement with Mr. Jamie Jacob Morgan (Morgan), a 2002 Republican candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 12th District.  Morgan agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty for committing knowing and willful violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act).

The complaint centered on inflated and fictitious contributions and refunds reported by Morgan for Congress (the Committee) in several original and amended submissions of FEC disclosure reports in 2002.  The Act requires every political committee to have a treasurer who files periodic reports with the FEC disclosing the committee’s receipts and disbursements.  The treasurer, and any other person required to file any report or statement under the Act, is personally responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in it.  Morgan himself acted as the de facto treasurer of the Committee and prepared and filed all of the reports with the Commission, rather than the Committee’s treasurer.  Morgan initially alleged that the inaccuracies stemmed from computer problems, but he later accepted responsibility for his actions.  After an investigation, the Commission found reason to believe that Morgan knowingly and willingly failed to file accurate disclosure reports, accepted excessive contributions and contributions in the name of another, commingled campaign funds with his personal funds, and that he failed to keep and maintain proper records in 2002. 

The Act specifically addresses violations of the law that are knowing and willful.  The phrase “knowing and willful” indicates that violations were committed with knowledge and recognition that one is violating the law.  The Commission determined that Jamie Jacob Morgan acted deliberately and with knowledge that contributions and refunds reported in 2002 reports were false, that contributions he received exceed the contribution limits of the Act and were not his personal funds, and that he commingled campaign funds with his personal fund to unlawfully terminate the Committee.  No further action was taken against the candidate’s brother, John Morgan, because he served as treasurer in name only and never fulfilled any duties or obligations as treasurer. 

This release contains only disposition information.

1.

Matter  Under Review (MUR) 5358

RESPONDENTS:

(a)Morgan for Congress and John Morgan, treasurer

(b) Jamie Jacob Morgan

COMPLAINANT:

Matthew A. Roth

Sean Callaghan

Jessica A. Danou

Justin M. Davis

Joseph N. Horenstein

Timothy P. McDonald

Cheryl A. Matthews

SUBJECT:

Knowing and willful failure to file accurate disclosure reports, acceptance of excessive contributions and contributions in the name of another, commingling of campaign funds with personal funds, and failure to keep and maintain proper records

DISPOSITION:

(a) Reason to believe; take no further action*

(b) Conciliation agreement: $60,000 civil penalty*

Former colleagues of Jamie Jacob Morgan, a 2002 Congressional candidate, alleged that disclosure reports filed by his campaign committee, Morgan for Congress, included inaccurate information regarding campaign contributions and refunds attributed to them.  Morgan admitted that the Complainants’ allegations were justified, but initially claimed that the inaccuracies resulted from computer problems.  The Commission determined that this claim had no merit and conducted an investigation.

The 2002 Amended April Quarterly report Morgan filed disclosed total contributions in the amount of $11,300, including several inflated and fictitious contributions from the complainants and from Morgan himself. The Amended July Quarterly report disclosed total contributions in the amount of $200,300, from 115 contributors, the vast majority of which were fictitious.  Finally, the Amended Termination Report filed in July of 2002 disclosed fictituous refunded contributions in the amount of $177,200.

The candidate’s brother, John Morgan, was designated as treasurer on the Committee’s Statement of Organization.  However, he never actually performed any of the duties as treasurer.  The Statement of Organization was never amended to designate Jamie Morgan as treasurer, even though he prepared and filed all of the reports.  The Commission found reason to believe that the candidate knowingly and willfully violated the Act by failing to file accurate disclosure reports, accepting excessive contributions and contributions in the name of another, commingling campaign funds with his personal funds, and that he violated the Act by failing to keep and maintain proper records.  The Commission took no further action against John Morgan and fined Jamie Jacob Morgan $60,000.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5358 under case numbers in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington, DC.

*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:

1. Receipt of proper complaint

2. “Reason to believe” stage

3. “Probable cause” stage

4. Conciliation stage

FEC decisions require the votes of at least four of its six Commissioners.
The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint.  If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent. 

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws . The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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