Mr. Kazran believed Rep. Buchanan was instructing him “to have someonewrite the check personally and then give them back the money through the corporation.”
Corroborating Mr. Kazran’s story, another HNJ executive, Josh Farid, testified he overheard atelephone conversation in which Rep. Buchanan told Mr. Kazran to have his employeescontribute to the campaign and reimburse them for their contributions with dealership funds.
Inaddition, HNJ’s controller said Mr. Kazran told her to make a contribution to Rep. Buchanan andreimburse herself for it from HNJ funds immediately after Mr. Kazran told Rep. Buchanan onthe phone, “Vern, I’ll handle it now.”
Mr. Kazran said he told her HNJ would be getting themoney back from Rep. Buchanan.
In all, HNJ reimbursed its employees for $67,900 incontributions to Rep. Buchanan’s campaign.
Mr. Kazran testified further he was “very confident” Rep. Buchanan also told his otherpartners to engage in reimbursement schemes, and personally observed one conversation inwhich Rep. Buchanan did so.
According to Mr. Kazran, at one partnership meeting Rep.Buchanan approached his company’s chief operating officer, Dennis Slater, and told him “Ihaven’t gotten your check yet.”
When Mr. Slater responded he was “hoping to take a pass,”Rep. Buchanan said, “Don’t worry. You know you’re going to get it back.”
Employees at other dealerships owned by Rep. Buchanan were reimbursed for theircontributions to Rep. Buchanan’s campaign. According to the sworn affidavits of two formerVenice Nissan Dodge employees, dealership employees were reimbursed with corporate fundsfor making $1,000 contributions to Rep. Buchanan’s 2006 congressional campaign or were
Mr. Kazran recounted Rep. Buchanan’s instructions to find people he could trust and run their reimbursementsthrough the corporation several times in his deposition.
, p. 21 (“I instructed [employees] to write a check andreimburse themselves for [it] – because Mr. Buchanan had asked me to get money. And he specifically told me getsomeone you trust and run it though the corporation.”);
, p. 32 (“And he said to me, he says, Get somebody youtrust and get the money out of the corporation.”);
(“He had asked me to get money, I told him, I said, I thoughtyou said I’m maxed out? I’ve already given you that money. And he said, Well, just get somebody you trust andrun it through the corporation.”);
, p. 36 (“And when I told him that I don’t have it, he says, Well, get somebodyyou trust and run it through the corporation.”);
, p. 37 (“And I said, You already told me I can’t give any money.He says, Don’t you have somebody, like your brother or someone you trust that you can get to write a check for me?. . . Run it through the corporation.”);
, p. 72 (“He said get somebody you trust, run it through the corporation.”).Mr. Kazran made the same allegations to the Office of Congressional Ethics. Office of Congressional Ethics, 112thCongress,
, Review No. 11-7565, January 12, 2012 (OCE Report), p. 18.
Kazran Deposition, p. 14;
see also id.
, p. 37.
General Counsel’s Brief, pp. 17-18;
OCE Report, p. 19; Virginia Chamlee, More Former BuchananEmployees Speak Out About Pressure To Donate, Reimbursement Scheme,
, August 5, 2011.Mr. Farid also told the
he was present Rep. Buchanan was “talking to [Mr. Kazran] aboutraising money and the campaign contributions,” and told him “‘[y]ou can get that money reimbursed through thedealership.’”
Mr. Kazran also said Mr. Farid was with him when Rep. Buchanan discussed this reimbursementscheme, Kazran Deposition, pp. 13, 32, but Mr. Farid told the FEC his understanding about it came from subsequentconversations he had with Mr. Kazran, Federal Election Commission, MUR No. 6054, General Counsel’s Report #9,p. 8, January 25, 2011 (General Counsel’s Report #9).
General Counsel’s Brief, p. 18.
Kazran Deposition, p. 22.
General Counsel’s Brief, p. 23.
, p. 14.
, pp. 14-15.
, p. 15;
see also id.
, p. 31.