Updated 4:23 p.m.
Paul Magliocchetti, the founder and owner of the now-dissolved defense lobbying firm PMA Group, was indicted in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia on charges of making illegal campaign contributions and making false statements. Magliocchetti was arrested this morning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is expected to make an appearance in court at 2:30 p.m.
His son, Mark Magliocchetti, a former PMA Group lobbyist, pleaded guilty Thursday morning to one count of making illegal campaign contributions using corporate money, according to the plea agreement. The plea agreement requires Mark Magliocchetti to cooperate with government prosecutors. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 16.
Mark Magliocchetti's lawyer, Adam Hoffinger, a partner at Morrison & Foerster, said he could not comment on the case. A lawyer for Paul Magliocchetti could not immediately be reached for comment.
Magliocchetti was indicted on three counts of making false statements and eight counts of making illegal campaign contributions. The indictment did not allege any improper behavior on the part of lawmakers. It accuses Magliocchetti of causing "scores of campaign committees and political action committees" to "unknowingly create and submit false reports" to the Federal Election Commission. The point of the scheme, the indictment says, was to increase the firm's influence, power and prestige. The indictment says Magliocchetti funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions through friends, family members and PMA lobbyists in order to make the contributions.
Magliocchetti, a former aide to the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a powerful appropriator, concentrated on obtaining defense earmarks for lobbying clients. His firm quickly grew into a lucrative business before dissolving last year, months after the FBI raided the firm's offices as part of the investigation. The House Ethics Committee issued a report earlier this year clearing seven lawmakers who were being investigated for their ties to PMA. For a 2009 story on what some former PMA lobbyists and clients are doing now, click here.
UPDATE Paul Magliocchetti appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia this afternoon, and was released under a series of conditions until his arraignment, scheduled for 9 a.m. on Aug. 13, according to Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Magliocchetti's lawyers, William Lawler, a partner, and Amy Riella, an associate, of Vinson & Elkins, could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to Carr, Magliocchetti was released on the condition that he provide a $2 million unsecured bond. He also must reside at a place approved by pre-trial services, which could include a psychiatric facility in Baltimore, Md., where he is currently living. The conditions include receiving mental health treatment which will include treatment for alcoholism. He must surrender his passport and avoid any contact with potential witnesses or defendants in the case with the exception of his son, Mark Magliocchetti, with whom he is not allowed to discuss the case. He is only permitted to leave the Washington metro area to travel to his home in Florida, and must remain in the Amelia Island area there.
According to Carr, Magliocchetti's attorneys said they may ask for his arraignment to take place at a later date, after Magliocchetti completes his mental health treatment.