A federal grand jury has indicted developer and Destin resident Jay Odom on two counts of violating campaign contribution laws.
Read a copy of the indictment. >>
Odom, 56, is charged with “providing campaign contributions in the name of another” and “causing another to make a false statement to the Federal Election Commission,” according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled for trial on March 4 in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, the news release said.
Odom did not return a phone call seeking comment.
He faces a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted on both counts.
Charging documents state that in December 2007 Odom used employees, their family members and associates to funnel more than $10,000 of his money into the campaign of “federal candidate A, a candidate for President of the United States.”
The candidate is not named in the indictment, although Odom supported Mike Huckabee during the Republican primary campaign.
The document states Odom “directly and indirectly” solicited employees of his businesses and their families as well as the employees and family members of an associate’s business to make donations of $2,300.
He paid the donors back with cash or a check, it said.
Odom’s actions violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, according to the indictment.
It lists contributions of $2,300, the maximum for individuals, made Dec. 26 or Dec. 27, 2007, by 10 people identified only by two-letter initials.
Odom, along with his wife Haley, his son J.G. Odom and his son’s wife, Becky, made $2,300 donations themselves Dec. 28, 2007, to Huckabee for President Inc., according to the website FEC.gov.
Odom also was to host a campaign visit by Huckabee to Destin in January 2008, but the event was called off because of scheduling difficulties.
The charging document states Odom “knowingly and willfully” made a fraudulent statement when “federal candidate A” filed a campaign finance report with the FEC in January bearing the names of the 10 unnamed contributors as $2,300 donors.
“In fact, the contributions were made by the defendant,” the document states.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin at 850-315-4435 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TomMnwfdn.