Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey pleads guilty to campaign finance scheme

Tennessee Sen. Brian Kelsey
Tennessee Sen. Brian Kelsey(Action News 5)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:31 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Brian Kelsey pleads guilty to violating campaign finance laws and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission to benefit his campaign for his 2016 campaign for U.S Congress.

According to court documents, Kelsey stated he conspired to and did illegally funnel money from several sources, including his own Tennessee State campaign committee.

Kelsey’s co-conspirators, including Joshua Smith, are accused of creating a national political organization to make unauthorized and excessive donations to Kelsey’s federal campaign committee.

Prosecutors say, Kelsey and his co-conspirators started the concealed movement of $91,000-$66,000 of which came from his State Senate campaign committee and $25,000 of which came from a non-profit organization. They also caused the political organization to make $80,000 to Kelsey’s federal campaign committee.

Kelsey is scheduled to be sentenced on June 9, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count.

Joshua Smith pleaded guilty last month to aiding and abetting the solicitation, receipt, direction, transfer, and spending of soft money in connection with a federal election. He is awaiting sentencing.

The FBI is investigating the case.

The Tennessee Democratic Party (TNDP) issued a statement below:

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