MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Brian Kelsey pleads guilty to violating campaign finance laws and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission to benefit his campaign for his 2016 campaign for U.S Congress.
According to court documents, Kelsey stated he conspired to and did illegally funnel money from several sources, including his own Tennessee State campaign committee.
Kelsey’s co-conspirators, including Joshua Smith, are accused of creating a national political organization to make unauthorized and excessive donations to Kelsey’s federal campaign committee.
Prosecutors say, Kelsey and his co-conspirators started the concealed movement of $91,000-$66,000 of which came from his State Senate campaign committee and $25,000 of which came from a non-profit organization. They also caused the political organization to make $80,000 to Kelsey’s federal campaign committee.
Kelsey is scheduled to be sentenced on June 9, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count.
Joshua Smith pleaded guilty last month to aiding and abetting the solicitation, receipt, direction, transfer, and spending of soft money in connection with a federal election. He is awaiting sentencing.
The FBI is investigating the case.
The Tennessee Democratic Party (TNDP) issued a statement below:
“After spending his career attempting to ruin the lives of others through heinous legislation, disgraced Republican State Senator Brian Kelsey has pleaded guilty to committing two federal crimes. Brian Kelsey should not be given a slap on the wrist but should face the maximum penalty for his crimes, especially after vehemently lying about his innocence. His actions are a reminder of the dangerous hypocrisy and mistruth that the Republican Party is willing to uphold for the sake of power and corruption.
We are calling on Kelsey to resign effective immediately.”
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