Feds seized more than 23m documents from Gray donor

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

Federal agents investigating the activities of Jeffrey Thompson, a major city contractor and a prolific contributor to political campaigns in the District, seized more than 23 million electronic pages of records when they raided his home and offices in March, court records show.

Although federal prosecutors have been mum about their probe of Thompson, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth revealed details of the searches in an opinion issued last month. The Legal Times first reported the ruling Monday.

Although Thompson has not been charged with any wrongdoing, his lawyers sought to curtail the government's ability to review the records that investigators seized as a part of their criminal probe.

Thompson's team argued that some of the documents are protected by, among other legally protected privileges, attorney-client privilege.

But Lamberth ruled that federal prosecutors have taken appropriate precautions to safeguard the applicable privileges, clearing the way for investigators to review the electronic records, as well as more than 60 boxes of physical documents.

As of May 3, Lamberth wrote, the government had not reviewed any of the records, signaling the investigation into Thompson could be far from complete. Brendan Sullivan, Thompson's lawyer, did not respond Monday to a request for comment.

Thompson has been in the spotlight since agents from the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service descended on his home and 15th Street offices in March.Federal authorities also searched locations linked to Jeanne Clark Harris, a campaign consultant to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, the same night.

Soon after the raids, Thompson's accounting firm, which has long done business with the District, acknowledged the searches were in connection with a probe of campaign finance practices in D.C.

Thompson and a network of family members and friends have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars through the years to District politicians, including at least 11 sitting members of the D.C Council and Gray. Several lawmakers acknowledged they had received subpoenas from federal prosecutors demanding documents about their links to Thompson.

Thompson's most meaningful tie to city government, though, hasn't been through his political giving or his accounting work. Chartered Health Plan, Thompson's managed care company, helped to run the city's Medicaid program for years, under a deal worth $322 million annually, the District's single largest contract.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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