DC businessman Thompson charged with conspiracy


WASHINGTON (AP) — Influential District of Columbia businessman Jeffrey Thompson has been charged with conspiracy.

The 58-year-old Thompson has long been suspected of funding what prosecutors called a $653,000 "shadow campaign" for Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray in 2010. He was charged Monday with conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and submit false filings to the Internal Revenue Service and conspiring to violate district campaign finance laws.

Five of Thompson's associates have pleaded guilty in federal court, including two who worked on Gray's 2010 campaign. Two other associates pleaded guilty to making straw contributions to political candidates on his behalf, and another acknowledged using illicit funds to help Hillary Rodham Clinton run for president in 2008. The cases outlined Thompson's extensive financial backing of his favored candidates for federal, state and local office.

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