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Local Man Charged for Straw Contributions

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(Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — A man with ties to the businessman at the center of a wide-ranging investigation into D.C. politics has been charged with making straw political donations and plans to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

Federal prosecutors charged Lee A. Calhoun via criminal information, a document that typically indicates a defendant has reached a plea agreement.

His lawyer, Edward MacMahon, said Thursday his client would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge next week and was cooperating with the investigation. He declined to comment further.

MacMahon confirmed that Calhoun works for an accounting firm formerly known as Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates, or TCBA. The firm, whose offices federal authorities raided last year as part of the investigation, changed its name after Jeffrey Thompson left and sold his ownership stake. Prosecutors are investigating Thompson on suspicion that he funded a “shadow campaign” for Mayor Vincent Gray.

Thompson has not been charged, and Gray has said he had no knowledge of any illicit funds being used to support his 2010 campaign.

Court papers accuse Calhoun of making straw donations in 2011 to a campaign committee for an unidentified candidate for the House of Representatives. Calhoun “knew that the contributions were, in truth and in fact, being made by Executive A and Company A,” the court papers allege.

Federal election records show Calhoun gave $2,300 that year to Donna Christensen, the Virgin Islands’ delegate to Congress who has generally benefited from Thompson’s largesse.

The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment on the charge.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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