US lobbyist admits to failing to register as foreign agent
US lobbyist admits to failing to register as foreign agent

American lobbyist Samuel Patten pleaded [plea agreement, PDF] guilty on Friday of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act [text], which requires foreign agents to register with the US government.

Patten formed [statement of offense, PDF] a political consulting company with an unidentified Russian agent. The company advised a Ukrainian political party, the Opposition Bloc, making Patten an agent for a foreign principal. Patten met with members of the United States government and wrote op-eds without disclosing that he had ties with the Opposition Bloc, in violation of the act.

Patten later helped a Russian and Ukrainian foreign national illegally obtain four tickets for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It is illegal for foreign nationals to give any money to Presidential Inauguration Committee. The tickets were worth a total of $50,000.

According to the plea that he signed, Patten was aware that his actions were illegal at the time.

No additional charges will be brought against Patten upon his cooperation with the investigation.

Violating the act carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000.

Last week Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty [JURIST report] on eight charges of fraud.  The same day Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to eight counts of fraud dealing with his management of campaign funds. In July the Department of Justice indicted [JURIST report] 12 Russian intelligence officers for the 2016 email hack.