2010 Congressional Candidate and Campaign Manager for His Opponent Sentenced for Committing Election Violations
September 14, 2015 - A 2010 Congressional candidate for Florida’s 25th Congressional District, along with the campaign manager for an opposing candidate from a different party, were sentenced today for violating federal election laws, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, First Assistant United States Attorney, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
United States District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced Jeffrey Garcia, 42, of Miami, to two years of probation, including 240 days of home detention, and Jose Rolando Arrojo, 41, of Miami, to one years of probation, including 180 days of home detention. The defendants had previously pled guilty to conspiring to make and accept excessive contributions to the 2010 Roly Arrojo for Congress Committee, in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. In 2010, the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, established a $2,400 per election limit on contributions from any individual to a federal candidates’ authorized campaign committee. Therefore, because the contributions did not exceed the permissible amount by more than $25,000, Garcia and Arrojo faced a maximum possible sentence of one year in prison.
According to court documents and information presented in court, during the 2010 election cycle, Garcia was the campaign manager for a candidate (“Candidate A”) opposing Arrojo in the general election. The objective of the conspiracy was to benefit Candidate A by splitting the general election votes of his opponents, by causing and funding the existence of Arrojo’s campaign. The information also alleges the conspirators used third party checks to conceal the contributions. A $12,000 check signed by Garcia, and drawn from the campaign account of Candidate A, was made payable to Palm Media, LLC, a company that was also owned and operated by Garcia. Garcia then signed two checks, made payable to cash in the amounts of $5,000 and $5,500, drawn from the Palm Media, LLC account. These checks were deposited by Arrojo into a personal account. Arrojo subsequently wrote a $10,500 check from the personal account made payable to “Roly Arrojo for Congress” which was deposited into the bank account for the Roly Arrojo for Congress Committee. Arrojo then caused a $10,440 check to issue from the Committee’s account to the Department of State, in order to cover his filing fee expenses. Arrojo submitted this check, along with an Oath of Candidate form, to the Department of State in order to be placed on the ballot in 2010 for Florida’s 25th Congressional District.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI Miami Area Corruption Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly A. Selmore.
A criminal information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
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