Ex-WinnCompanies EVP Pleads Guilty to Illegal Funneling of Campaign Contributions and Witness Tampering

Martin Raffol, who recently resigned as executive vice president of WinnCompanies’s residential arm, has pleaded guilty to witness tampering, underwriting illegal campaign contributions to local, state and federal candidates, and concealing information from the Federal Election Commission. He entered his pleas in U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday.

Raffol has admitted that from 2003 to 2009, he solicited campaign funds for politicians who could help WinnCompanies with its projects. In US District Court, he confessed that vendors who gave him contributions were reimbursed through the padding of contractors’ bills. This allowed him to keep the Federal Election Commission from finding out that WinnCompanies was the actual source of the money.

The candidates that received the $12,000 in illegal campaign contributions that Raffol funneled are Representatives Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston, Barney Frank of Newton, William D. Delahunt of Quincy, and Michael E. Capuano of Somerville. Raffol also has admitted to directing over $30,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Governor Deval Patrick, state Senator Dianne Wilkerson, and Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Raffol’s criminal defense lawyer has said that Raffol was pressured by WinnCompanies top brass to raise money for sympathetic politicians and was afraid to lose his job if he didn’t comply. The charges filed against Raffol are only related to the contributions that went to federal officeholders.

A conviction for witness tampering comes with a maximum 20-year prison sentence. The concealment conviction comes with a 5-year maximum sentence. As part of his plea deal, however, Raffol is expected to receive a considerably reduced prison sentence.

Boston realty exec pleads guilty in campaign cash scam, Boston Herald, September 19, 2010
Former executive pleads guilty to illegally moving campaign contributions, Boston.com, September 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Tampering with a Witness, Lectlaw
Federal Election Commission

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