Destin developer Jay Odom was aware well before he was arrested Tuesday morning that federal authorities would be coming to arrest him for making illegal campaign contributions.
That gave Odom the opportunity to turn himself in and saved U.S. government agents the trouble of tracking him down, according to Len Register, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pensacola.
“He knew they were coming,” Register said. “His lawyers offered to surrender him.”
The two charges Odom faces — providing campaign contributions in the name of someone else and causing another to make a false statement to the Federal Election Commission — actually were filed at different times, Register said.
Odom was indicted on the first count on Nov. 13, 2012, Register said.
The indictment was filed and sealed so violations alleged to have occurred in December 2007 could be charged by the end of the year. That allowed authorities to meet the five-year statute of limitations requirement, Register said.
That charge states Odom convinced his employees and their families, and employees and family members of a friend’s business to make donations of $2,300 to the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and reimbursed them for doing so.
The campaign contributions — 10 of them, according to federal charging documents — were made between Christmas day and the end of the year.
The second charge, which states that Odom’s deception caused Huckabee’s campaign to make a false report to the Federal Elections Commission, wasn’t filed until Tuesday, Register said.
Because that violation occurred in January 2008, federal authorities had until Jan. 31 to file the charge within the statute of limitations.
An attempt to reach Odom for comment was unsuccessful.