Former Treasurer of National Republican Congressional Committee Sentenced to Over Three Years in Prison for Embezzling $844,718 from Political Committees
District of Columbia Prosecution Supervised by Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 02, 2010|
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Christopher J. Ward, age 42, formerly of Bethesda, Maryland, today to 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with a scheme to defraud the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and other political committees which were clients of his accounting and consulting business. Judge Kollar-Kotelly also entered a consent order on forfeiture in the amount of $844,718 and ordered Ward to pay restitution of $812,825. Ward already had replaced $31,893 of the money he had stolen prior to being charged.
The United States Attorney for the District of Maryland was designated by the Attorney General to handle the case in April, following the recusal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office James W. McJunkin.
According to Ward’s plea agreement, he worked in the NRCC’s accounting department and in 2003 became the NRCC’s Treasurer. In addition, Ward operated a business specializing in accounting services and compliance with Federal Election Commission regulations for political committees and candidates. From 2001 through 2006, Ward also served as Treasurer for the President’s Dinner Committees, which ran the annual joint fund-raising dinners sponsored by the NRCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), featuring a keynote address by the President of the United States.
Ward admitted that from March 5, 2001 through December 2007, he stole approximately $844,718 by issuing unauthorized checks and wire transfers from the NRCC and political committees who were clients of his business, using the funds for his personal benefit. In some instances, Ward issued unauthorized checks and wire transfers from the NRCC to bank accounts for the President’s Dinner Committees that Ward controlled, and he then transferred the funds to his personal bank accounts. In order to conceal the theft, at or near the times of the unauthorized payments, Ward filed with the Federal Election Commission, and caused others to file, reports that contained false information.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the special agents from FBI's Washington Field Office who conducted this investigation, and commended District of Columbia Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Haray, who was appointed as a special attorney to handle the criminal prosecution; District of Columbia Paralegal Maggie McCabe, who assisted in the prosecutionl and District of Columbia Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas, who is handling a related forfeiture action. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Maryland First Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart M. Goldberg and Southern Division Chief Stuart A. Berman, who were designated as special attorneys to supervise the case.