Indicted PMA Group founder and owner Paul Magliocchetti pleaded not guilty this morning to charges of making illegal campaign contributions and making false statements. He was arraigned at the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.
Senior Judge T.S. Ellis III said Magliocchetti's trial will be on Oct. 5. Motions are due Sept. 9, and oral argument on any motions will be heard on Sept. 24.
Before the arraignment, Magliocchetti, who is represented by a team of lawyers from Vinson & Elkins, including partner William Lawler, declined to speak to a reporter. Magliocchetti, balding and wearing a navy sports coat, sat between his lawyers at the defense table, and answered "Yes, sir" when the judge asked him whether he had reviewed the indictment.
Magliocchetti, a former aide to the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), built PMA Group into a lucrative lobbying firm specializing in defense earmarks. But the firm dissolved last year, after the FBI raided the firm's offices as part of its investigation.
Magliocchetti was indicted earlier this month on three counts of making false statements and eight counts of making illegal campaign contributions. The indictment accused Magliocchetti of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to "scores" of campaign committees and political action committees through friends, family members and PMA lobbyists.
Magliocchetti's son, Mark Magliocchetti, also a former PMA Group lobbyist, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of making illegal campaign contributions using corporate money. The plea agreement requires Mark Magliocchetti to cooperate with prosecutors.
Prosecutors Mark Lytle of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and Justin Shur and Kevin Driscoll of the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section said in court this morning that presenting their case could take five to seven trial days, and Lawler told the judge that his defense case would likely take two to three days.
In response to a request from prosecutors, Ellis issued a protective order covering discovery documents that prosecutors said touched on other ongoing investigations. Lawler did not object. Prosecutors said the documents also could contain sensitive financial information.
Magliocchetti had earlier been released from custody after providing a $2 million unsecured bond and agreeing to several conditions that included receiving mental health treatment for conditions including alcoholism. Magliocchetti was receiving treatment at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, according to court documents. He was also permitted to leave the Washington metro area to travel to his home in Amelia Island, Fla. Yesterday, the judge modified those conditions to allow Magliocchetti to travel to a larger area within Florida, something his lawyers said would allow him to see doctors in the Jacksonville area and visit his daughter in Tampa.
Ellis also changed the conditions governing Magliocchetti's ability to have contact with potential witnesses and codefendants in the trial. He is forbidden from doing so except in the case of his son Mark. He was permitted to have contact with him, though not to discuss the case. Ellis modified the order to allow him to also have contact with his daughter, his stepdaughter, and an old friend in Florida, John Walker, though he can't discuss the case with them. Prosecutors did not object to the changes.