Ron Paul aides convicted on campaign finance violations

David Pitt
Associated Press

Des Moines, Iowa — A federal jury in Iowa has convicted campaign advisers to 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul on charges they conspired to cover up campaign payments to a former state senator.

Federal prosecutors say it is illegal to cause a campaign to file inaccurate spending documents. They’ve pursued charges since July 2015 when a grand jury first indicted the men.

Paul’s campaign chairman Jesse Benton, campaign manager John Tate and deputy manager Dimitri Kesari argued they broke no laws when they paid a video production company which passed on $73,000 to former Sen. Kent Sorenson. He dropped support for Michelle Bachmann and endorsed Paul six days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

They say they were targeted because of their conservative politics and argued campaigns typically don’t identify payments to subcontractors of vendors.