Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
As late as last fall, a federal grand jury was investigating the owner of an array of companies run by a political fundraiser scrutinized by federal authorities and his own bank for suspect financial dealings.
Previously unreported federal court records reveal the grand jury was probing telemarketer Richard Zeitlin late last year. Zeitlin operates a host of fundraising firms that raked in money during the 2018 election cycle from a network of so-called scam PACs, political groups that spend little on electioneering activity and instead steer funds to their executives and consultants. The grand jury investigation came as the Justice Department stepped up its prosecution of such groups and their operators, two of which have been charged with fraud and other crimes since November.