INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Federal charges have been filed against a former Indiana state senator and a gaming executive accused of funneling campaign cash through straw donors leading up to the 2016 primary election.
Brent Waltz, a Republican who served in the state Senate from 2005-17, was arrested by the FBI on Monday. In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in Indiana’s 9th congressional district, losing a five-way race to Trey Hollingsworth.
Waltz, 47, faces one count of conspiracy to make conduit contributions, false statements and to obstruct justice, one count of making and receiving conduit contributions, one count of obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements.
Also charged is 71-year-old John Keeler. At the time, Keeler was vice president and general counsel for New Centaur, LLC.
According to court documents, the pair used more than a dozen straw donors to move cash between New Centaur and Waltz’s campaign, using Kelley Rogers, a political consultant for the Waltz campaign, to help arrange the transfers.
A total of thirteen unnamed straw donors are mentioned in court documents. They include friends, relatives and business associates of Waltz.
Documents state each straw donor contributed the maximum donation of $2,700, then was reimbursed, a violation of campaign finance law.
Investigators also say Rogers used New Centaur money to pay for his consulting fees, which is a violation of the Election Act, according to court documents.