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Freddie Mac to pay $3.8M fine to settle FEC illegal fundraising allegations

[JURIST] The Federal Election Commission [official website] on Tuesday announced [press release] that mortgage corporation Freddie Mac [corporate website] has agreed to pay a $3.8 million fine [agreement text, PDF] to settle accusations that it directly raised campaign funds for members of Congress in violation of federal election laws. Freddie Mac agreed not to contest the charges brought by the FEC, and the FEC has promised not to pursue further investigations of the company's former lobbyist Mitchell Delk, former CEO Leland Brendsel, or any others involved in the alleged illegal activity.

Freddie Mac, which was chartered by Congress in 1970 to stabilize the mortgage market, had no political action committee, and conducted its political fund raising directly. The FEC accused the corporation of using its corporate funds to do so, in violation of federal election laws. The FEC's investigation documents allege that, among other things, Freddie Mac held more than 75 fund raising events and raised more than $3 million for members of the House Financial Services committee. The $3.8 million fine is the largest ever levied by the FEC in a civil enforcement action. USA Today has more.

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