Two of three Ron Paul campaign aides found guilty of secretly funnelling campaign money to a former Iowa legislator have been sentenced to six months home confinement, but no jail time.
Jesse Benton was the chairman of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. He’s also married to the candidate’s granddaughter. Both Benton and the manager of Ron Paul’s campaign have been sentenced to two years probation for the scheme and each must pay a 10,000 dollar fine.
This case revolves around former state Senator Kent Sorenson of Milo. Sorenson was chairman of Michele Bachmann’s 2012 Iowa campaign, but Sorenson switched his support to Ron Paul just before the Caucuses. Sorenson testified he that made the jump after the Paul camp offered to find a way to secretly pay him thousands of dollars. Prosecutors say Benton and two other Ron Paul campaign officials conspired to pay Sorenson $73,000. They routed checks through two other companies before Sorenson got the money.
A third man who was Ron Paul’s deputy campaign manager is to be sentenced tomorrow morning.
Sorenson initially complained he was the subject of a “witch hunt” when a state senate committee began investigating the allegations. He resigned from the state senate in October of 2013. He eventually pleaded guilty on federal charges and testified in court against the three Ron Paul staffers. Sorenson has not yet been sentenced. Sorenson violated senate ethics rules by being paid by a presidential campaign.
Prosecutors say Ron Paul’s campaign aides committed a crime by submitting false financial disclosure documents that hid how the payments were being made to Sorenson.