ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia political consultant has been sentenced to a year in prison for diverting tens of thousands of dollars from conservative political action committees and filing false reports to cover it up.
Sixty-six-year-old Scott Mackenzie of Arlington was treasurer of multiple PACs, including Conservative StrikeForce and Conservative Majority Fund.
Conservative StrikeForce has been under scrutiny since 2014 when Republican Ken Cuccinelli sued the PAC after his losing 2013 gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. Cuccinelli said the group pulled in more than $2 million invoking his name and campaign in fundraising solicitations, but his campaign only received $10,000.
Mackenzie admitted directing $32,500 from the PACs to a Winchester woman with whom he had a relationship. Election reports falsely claimed she earned the money doing political work.
Prosecutors had sought a term of 2.5 years at Friday’s sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. They said in a sentencing memorandum that when the FBI searched his home in 2017 they found a basement office with “blue bins stuffed full of cash, stacks of checks dating back to 2011, 2013 and 2014, bank statements and correspondence from donors who identified themselves as elderly, sick and on fixed incomes.” They say there is a three-decade history of complaints against Mackenzie with the Federal Election Commission.
Mackenzie sought probation.