The Department of Justice revealed a statement that indicted the former Republican Senator Brent Waltz and the gaming executive John Keeler for illegal corporate contributions in Indiana. According to the allegations, the two men were involved in a conspiracy, fueling Waltz’s 2016 election campaign.
A Former Senator and a Gaming Executive Indicted in Indiana
A former Indiana State Senator and a gaming executive were indicted for violations of federal campaign finance laws, according to a statement by the Department of Justice released Tuesday, September 29. According to the charges, former Republican Senator Brent Waltz of Greenwood together with John Keeler, Spectacle Entertainment’s vice president allegedly participated in an elaborate conspiracy involving $25,000 in illegal corporate contributions.
The federal indictment outlines events back in 2016 when Keeler was vice president and general counsel of New Centaur LLC. Back then, Waltz was a candidate in the 2016 primary election for the office of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the Ninth District of Indiana. Allegedly Keeler together with Kelley Rogers, a political consultant arranged the congressional campaign of Waltz. As a result, thousands of dollars were allegedly transferred from New Centaur LLC to Rogers’ accounts which then fueled Waltz’s campaign.
Furthermore, the indictment reads that allegedly Keeler and Rogers created untrue invoices and agreements, aiming at concealing the true nature of the illegal corporate contributions. Once New Centaur LLC contributions were received, allegedly Rogers used multiple donors to each contribute the maximum permitted amount of $2,700 to Waltz’s campaign. Upon completion of the donations, each donor was allegedly reimbursed by Rogers using the money from New Centaur LLC. The result of the illegal contributions led to Waltz and Keeler allegedly filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Keeler Is Presumed Innocent until Proven Guilty
Currently, Keeler is a vice president for Spectacle Entertainment, a casino company that is building a new $400 million casino in Gary, Indiana. Earlier this year, in January, Keeler was publically involved in the federal investigation when a political advisor in Virginia pleaded guilty for arranging campaign checks for Waltz with money by a casino company that flowed through untrue contracts.
Following Keeler’s indictment, the Indiana Gaming Commission suspended his casino license, pending investigation for his actions and other parties involved. Speaking for abcNews, the regulator’s director Sara Gonso Tait said: “This matter is extremely serious.” She added: “The ability for this company to continue to hold an Indiana gaming license is in question.“
In a statement, Spectacle Entertainment wrote: “It is important to remember that Mr. Keeler is presumed innocent of all charges“. The company refrained from any further comments at this time. In that line of thought, we cannot miss adding that the indictment itself outlines that it is not a finding of guilt but merely alleges that crimes have been committed. Furthermore, the DOJ paper reads: “A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.“