FEC: Sharpton Took Illegal Contributions in 2004 White House Bid

Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:56am

A recent Federal Election Commission audit has turned up roughly $500,000 worth of illegal contributions in the Rev. Al Sharpton’s (D) 2004 presidential campaign bank accounts.

A Nov. 5 FEC audit report suggests that Sharpton underwrote his long-shot presidential bid four years ago with banned corporate campaign gifts and excessive personal and individual contributions.

“The available records suggest that many campaign expenses were paid for by using the candidate’s personal American Express card,” audit staff wrote in a memo last week. “Sharpton 2004 paid some charges directly and for others it reimbursed the candidate. In addition, over $107,000 of the total charges to the candidates Amex card was paid by [the National Action Network] and counsel for NAN has indicated that the remaining amount may have been paid for by Rev-Als Production, Inc.”

Sharpton is the president of the National Action Network, a nonprofit organization. In total, FEC auditors concluded that Sharpton’s campaign received $486,803 in “prohibited contributions” and $10,500 in “contributions that exceed limits.”

The agency also found that the Sharpton campaign’s “bank records revealed that receipts and disbursements, as well as ending cash on hand, had been materially misstated.”

The case will come before the full FEC at some point in the future, but it is not clear when that will happen or if the commissioners will choose to punish Sharpton.