WASHINGTON — A Texas man has been indicted on 20 counts stemming from allegations of raising more than $500,000 from fraudulent political committees for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Kyle Prall of Austin is accused of setting up political committees named “Feel Bern,” “HC4President,” and “Trump Victory” and soliciting donations he claimed would support Sanders, Clinton and Trump.
Prall allegedly raised more than $300,000 for “Feel Bern,” $165,000 for “Trump Victory” and $73,000 for “HC4President,” according to the indictment unsealed on Tuesday.
On various websites, Prall claimed the money would also be used for volunteer training and transportation, help voters obtain proper identification and make political contributions.
“In reality Prall did not intend to, and did not, use the contributions for any of these purposes and instead transferred much of the money to himself through sham LLC accounts and used the other funds to generate additional contributions to his fraudulent political committee,” the indictment alleging wire and mail fraud says.
According to the indictment, Prall kept more than $214,000 for personal use. A few of the things the money was used for included a trip to Miami, where more than $3,000 was spent on food and “club dances performed by entertainers” at a nightclub, a visit to Jacksonville, Fla., with his girlfriend, a stay at the Omni Hotel in Dallas and plane tickets to Belize.
“Feel Bern” first came under scrutiny in 2016 when a review of Federal Ethics Commissionreports — along with a complaint from a Sanders supporter — showed the group had raised a large sum of money but it was unclear how the money being spent helped Sanders’ presidential bid.
Six years ago, Reuters reported that Prall, the son of an Illinois circuit court judge, started a weekly newspaper called Busted! In Austin during his spare time. He later expanded his $1 product to bustedmugshots.com while working as a financial analyst at a power company.