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Simon C. Fireman v. USA


In October 1999, the parties in this case signed a settlement agreement, which did not constitute an admission of liability on the part of either party.

The plaintiffs, Simon C. Fireman and Aqua-Leisure Industries, Inc. (Aqua-Leisure), brought this action to recover from the government illegal campaign contributions they had made to the Dole for President Committee, which had disgorged the illegal contributions to the U.S. Treasury.

In 1996, Mr. Fireman pleaded guilty to making contributions in the names of others and making excessive contributions to two 1996 Presidential campaign committees of former Senator Bob Dole. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ordered him to pay a $1 million fine and sentenced him to one year of probation. Upon learning that the contributions were likely impermissible, Mr. Dole's primary and compliance committees disgorged $69,000 to the U.S. Treasury.

Mr. Fireman alleged that FEC regulations mandate that a contribution that does not appear impermissible at the time it is made, but later is found to be from a prohibited source, be refunded to the contributor within 30 days. 11 CFR 103.3(b)(2). He also alleged that Commission advisory opinions concluding that a campaign committee could also refund impermissible contributions to the U.S. Treasury are beyond the Commission's authority and contrary to its regulations.

On October 26, the USA agreed to settle the matter in full by paying Mr. Fireman $69,000. The payment fully discharges the USA of all claims and demands made by Mr. Fireman. The parties entered into the agreement solely for the purpose of settling this action and all disputes between the parties involved. The agreement should not be cited or otherwise referred to, in any proceeding, whether judicial or administrative.

Source:   FEC Record — January 2000.