INDIANAPOLIS – A former state senator and U.S. congressional candidate has been indicted on multiple charges.
The news comes a day after federal agents raided the Greenwood condo of Brent Waltz. He’s charged with 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.
Waltz, 47, is accused of violating federal campaign finance law during his 2016 congressional campaign.
In addition to Waltz, 71-year-old John S. Keeler, a gaming executive, was charged with one count of conspiracy to make illegal corporate contributions, false statements and to obstruct justice, one count of making illegal corporate contributions, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.
Waltz was a candidate in the 2016 Republican primary for the U.S House of Representatives representing the Ninth District. Keeler served as vice president and general counsel of what was then called New Centaur LLC. He arranged to transfer thousands of dollars to Kelley Rogers, a political consultant for Waltz, who then contributed money to Waltz’s campaign.
Federal prosecutors said Keeler and Rogers concealed the contributions by creating phony invoices and agreements that appeared to be for services performed for New Centaur. Rogers recruited several “straw donors,” who contributed $2,700 to the campaign—the maximum individual contribution permitted under federal law at the time.
Waltz was one of the straw donors, according to court documents. Others were friends and associates of Rogers.
Rogers then used the money Keeler and New Centaur provided to reimburse the donors. A large portion of the money also went to Waltz, federal prosecutors said, who recruited more “straw donors” and used the money to reimburse them or pay them in advance.
Waltz’s straw donors included relatives and business associates.
Waltz and Keeler concealed the contributions from campaign officials, federal prosecutors said, causing them to unwittingly file materially false reports with the Federal Election Commission.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and being prosecuted by trial attorneys William Gullotta and John Taddei of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and Brad Shepard and MaryAnn Mindrum of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.