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  • FEC Record: Compliance

Sharpton repayment agreement

February 1, 2006

On December 9, 2005, Alfred C. Sharpton agreed to repay the $100,000 in public funds he had received in 2004 under the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act (Matching Fund Act), plus interest.

To qualify for public funding, Presidential candidates must first raise $5,000 or more from individuals in each of at least 20 states. Candidates must also agree to limit spending from personal funds to $50,000 and abide by campaign spending limits. Once they have established eligibility, candidates may receive public funds to match contributions from individuals up to $250 per individual.

On March 11, 2004, the Commission certified that Rev. Sharpton’s committee was eligible to receive an initial $100,000 in matching funds. Since the committee’s disclosure reports revealed that Rev. Sharpton was close to exceeding the $50,000 personal expenditure limitation, the Commission opened an investigation to resolve whether he had exceeded this limitation. On March 20, 2004, the Sharpton committee filed a disclosure report containing information suggesting that the candidate had exceeded the $50,000 personal expenditure limitation. As a result, the Commission suspended further matching fund payments to the Sharpton committee, pending an administrative review.

During that review, the Commission determined that Rev. Sharpton knowingly and substantially exceeded his personal expenditure prior to his application for matching funds. All matching funds received by Rev. Sharpton were in excess of his entitlement because Rev. Sharpton was never eligible to receive matching funds. 26 U.S.C. § 9038(b)(1). The Commission determined that Rev. Sharpton must repay the $100,000 plus interest to the U.S. Treasury.

According to the agreement, Rev. Sharpton will make four installment payments (of principal and interest) to the U.S. Treasury.

  • Author 
    • Carlin Bunch