Feds Seize Ex GOP Offical’s House

      WASHINGTON (CN) – Federal prosecutors say Christopher Ward, treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee, stole more than $500,000 from the President’s Dinner Committee between 2003 and 2007 and spent at least $150,000 of it on his own house in Bethesda.

     The government seeks forfeiture of his house.
     The federal complaint in rem seeks forfeiture of the house at 6302 Massachusetts Ave. Prosecutors say the house constitute “proceeds from transportation of stolen goods” and “money laundering.”
     The complaint states, “from mid-2003 through January 2007, Ward transported, transmitted, or transferred in interstate commerce securities or money of the value of $5,000 or more, knowing the same to have been stolen, converted or taken by fraud. The investigation has revealed that Ward used his position as Treasurer of the yearly President’s Dinner Committee to write numerous checks to himself from the yearly President’s Dinner Committees’ Wachovia Bank accounts, and to transfer funds from those accounts to his own accounts for no legitimate purpose. Further there is cause to believe that wars used a portion of funds stolen from the yearly President’s Dinner Committees’ Wachovia accounts to make payments for the mortgage and maintenance/home improvements to the defendant property, 6302 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20816, owned by Ward and his wife. Some of these monetary transactions in which Ward used criminally derived funds were of the value greater than $10,000.”
     Ward was treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee from mid-2003 through mid-2007, and also was treasurer of “numerous political action committees, congressional re-election committees, and a number of yearly President’s Dinner Committees” during that time, the complaint states.
     He was paid $120,000 a year from the NRCC and another $10,000 from the yearly President’s Committees, the complaint states.
     In 2003, Ward began transferring money from the NRCC to the dinner committee, and then took money for himself from the dinner committee, the complaint states.
     “(B)etween 2003 through 2007, Ward made over $500,000 in unauthorized withdrawals, frequently in the form of checks, from the yearly President’s Dinner Committee Wachovia accounts with corresponding deposits made into Ward’s personal Wachovia account,” the complaint states.
     A search of Zillow.com this morning found the value of the house at that address estimated at $700,000.

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