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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Georgia firm fined $1 million for illegal campaign contributions

By Terry Frieden/CNN

WASHINGTON (December 1) -- A Dalton, Georgia firm was fined $1 million Tuesday after pleading guilty to hiding illegal campaign contributions to the 1996 Lamar Alexander presidential campaign.

The Justice Department announced that Beaulieu of America, a major carpet manufacturer, pleaded guilty in Atlanta to five misdemeanor counts. Four of the counts involved making disguised contributions, using its employees as conduits.

Officials say Beulieu's chief executive officer, Carl Bouckaert, was a co-chairman of a March 8, 1995 fund-raising dinner for Alexander's campaign. Executives of the firm directed 36 employees or spouses to contribute $1,000 each to the campaign, and the contributors were then reimbursed by the corporation.

Alexander campaign officials did not know the contributions were being made illegally.

"The Alexander for President Committee unwittingly and incorrectly reported as individual contributions what were in fact at least $36,000 in corporate contributions funneled through conduits," according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Georgia.

The Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department in Washington, the FBI and the IRS assisted the U.S. Attorney's office in Atlanta with the investigation. The probe was not conducted by the Justice Department's campaign finance task force which has prosecuted similar conduit campaign schemes by backers of Democratic candidates.


Democratic contributor flees country (11-25-98)

Democratic fund-raiser gets probation, fine (11-24-98)


Tuesday, December 1, 1998

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