FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A former Fairfield resident was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 28 months in prison for his role in a scheme to direct illegal campaign contributions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Joshua Nassi, 35, pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission and to impede the commission’s enforcement of federal campaign finance laws. He will also face a year of supervised release after his prison term and pay a $6,000 fine.
Nassi committed the crime as the campaign manager of former Connecticut House Speaker Christopher Donovan.
He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven.
Donovan had been running in 2012 for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Danbury, Waterbury and portions of Litchfield County.
As Donovan’s campaign manager, Nassi was seeking an edge when he traded promises of legislative action in exchange for illegal campaign contributions, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.
“His criminal behavior undermines the principles of transparency and fairness that are the bedrock of our electoral and political processes. We are confident that this prison term, along with those previously imposed in this case, send a clear message to campaign workers whose ethics may be tested,” she said in a release.
Nassi was accused of helping to further a scheme regarding illegal campaign contributions in 2011 while roll-your-own smoke shops were facing legislation that proposed a tax increase on shop-rolled cigarettes, the release said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, shop owners donated nearly $28,000 to Donovan’s campaign for U.S. Congress in hopes that he would prevent the legislation from being pushed through. The checks were disguised as personal campaign contributions, the release said.
Seven people have been convicted of charges stemming from this scheme.
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