Longtime political consultant charged with embezzling $1.4M from Congressional campaign

James R. Schwartz II, photo via the Cincinnati Enquirer

CINCINNATI – A political and media consultant has been charged federally with wire fraud and falsification of records related to the embezzlement of more than $1.4 million from a United States Congressional campaign.

A bill of information was filed Tuesday against James R. Schwartz II, 41, of Cincinnati.

From 2011 through 2019, Schwartz worked as a consultant on behalf of Rep. Steve Chabot’s Congressional campaign through his companies Fountain Square Group LLC and Prime Media LLC. Schwartz also served as the de facto treasurer for the campaign.

Schwartz allegedly embezzled funds from the Republican’s Congressional campaign by writing checks to himself and his companies from the campaign that were for more money than he and his companies had actually earned. He allegedly concealed the embezzled funds by misrepresenting the amounts paid to him and his companies in reports to the Federal Election Commission. It is alleged that Schwartz fabricated bank statements and other documents in submissions to the Federal Election Commission in order to conceal his embezzling.

Committing wire fraud and falsifying records in a federal investigation are crimes punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

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