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Jim Gerlach: Misreported $2.2 Million in Campaign Contributions

Largest FEC Fine in Pennsylvania History

In April 2007, Jim Gerlach had to pay a $120,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violation of Federal Campaign Finance Laws. This penalty constituted the largest federal fine ever imposed on a member from Pennsylvania, and, according to the FEC, the third largest issued against a sitting U.S. lawmaker since 1980.

The penalty was based on the commission’s determination that Gerlach:

  • Reported raising 2.2 million dollars in a period of less than 2 months after the 2004 election. In reality he had raised between 18 and 20 thousand.
  • Misreported $8,911 in refunded contributions in 2005.
  • Failed to itemize $8,832 in contributions from another fund-raising committee in 2004.

Although Gerlach acknowledged that he was ultimately responsible for the egregious violation, Gerlach laid the blame on his treasurer saying, “We decided we needed to change treasurers and moved on to somebody else.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/12/07]

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