LOS ANGELES (CN) – Prominent Los Angeles trial lawyer Pierce O’Donnell allegedly organized a campaign donation scam by recruiting employees at his law firm to “donate” money to a presidential campaign, apparently that of another trial lawyer, John Edwards. O’Donnell is said to have then reimbursed the employees’ donations, according to a federal indictment.
O’Donnell may have personally contributed $26,000, far more than the $2,000 legal limit. The scam, made of so-called “conduit contributions,” works by concealing the true contributor. O’Donnell allegedly talked 13 people, or conduit contributors, into each giving the individual limit. Then he would write each contributor a check to pay for their contribution.
The indictment identifies the campaign as “EFP,” which appears to be the Edwards for President campaign.
O’Donnell is scheduled to answer the 3 count indictment in August. He could face 12 years in prison.