Skip to comments.Former Elizabeth Dole Fund-raising Committee Consultant Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case
Posted on 03/17/2004 4:30:23 PM PST by Libloather
Former Dole Official Pleads in Fraud Case
1 hour, 46 minutes ago
By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A former consultant to a fund-raising committee for North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole's 2002 election campaign pleaded guilty Wednesday to mail fraud in an embezzlement scheme involving more than $174,000 of political contributions.
Earl Allen Haywood, 40, entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington. Haywood, an assistant treasurer to campaign committees that raised money for Dole, could face up to 20 years in prison when sentenced on May 26 and has agreed to make full restitution, prosecutors said.
In addition to his work on the Dole North Carolina Victory Committee, Haywood also raised money for an entity known as North Carolina's Salute to George W. Bush that spread its funds between Dole, the North Carolina Republican Party and Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C.
The Dole campaign's former general counsel, Washington lawyer Cleta Mitchell, said the embezzlement came to light after an internal review of the books following Dole's 2002 victory over Democrat Erskine Bowles.
"Campaigns need to realize that this is big business and you've got to have internal controls," Mitchell said.
In his plea agreement, Haywood admitted stealing $155,750 from the Dole Victory Committee account and another $18,975 from the Salute committee account. Haywood wrote checks from the campaign accounts to himself, then deposited them in his personal bank account.
Haywood tried to conceal his actions by putting entries in a check registry indicating that they were to pay for "postage" for official campaign business, prosecutors said.
The mail fraud charge stemmed from campaign contributions sent to Haywood in Washington from Dole campaign officials in North Carolina.
Christopher Wray, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's criminal division, said that Haywood had agreed to make a preliminary restitution payment of $50,000 and to repay the rest of the money over time. In addition to the prison sentence, Haywood could be fined up to $250,000.