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PMA Group Founder Set to Change Not Guilty Plea

Paul Magliocchetti, founder of the PMA Group lobbying firm, is apparently planning to change his not guilty plea in connection with charges that he made hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of fraudulent campaign contributions to Members of Congress.

Magliocchetti pleaded not guilty in August, but his son pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions at his father’s behest.

On Thursday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia posted on the docket a notice of a Sept. 24 change of plea hearing for the case, the Associated Press reported.

Magliocchetti was indicted on eight counts of making illegal campaign contributions and three counts of making false statements. His trial date has been set for Oct. 5.

According to the indictment, Magliocchetti is accused of using personal funds and PMA corporate money to reimburse his associates, family members and two Florida acquaintances for making hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of political contributions at his direction. Magliocchetti and his family made $1.5 million in political contributions from 2000 through 2008, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of campaign finance records.

The House ethics committee closed an investigation in February into seven lawmakers’ ties to the firm, stating it found “no evidence that Members or their official staff considered campaign contributions as a factor when requesting earmarks.”

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