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Former Chabot Campaign Staffer Charged With Embezzlement

Chabot during a campaign event at Price Hill Chili, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018.
John Minchillo
Chabot during a campaign event at Price Hill Chili, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018.

A former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot faces federal wire fraud and falsification of records charges for allegedly embezzling more than $1.4 million from Chabot's congressional campaign. Jamie Schwartz is expected to enter a guilty plea.

Schwartz was Chabot's longtime campaign manager and adviser from at least 2011-2019. Court records allege that while acting as the de facto campaign treasurer, he embezzled funds by writing checks to his companies - Fountain Square Group LLC and Prime Media LLC - and himself out of campaign accounts.

The government further alleges Schwartz "fabricated bank statements and other documents in submissions to the Federal Election Commission in order to conceal his embezzling."

Schwartz shut down Fountain Square Group in 2019 after a letter from the FEC detailing $123,625 had gone missing from campaign funds.

Kevin Tierney, Schwartz' attorney, says his client surrendered to federal authorities "some time ago."

"Jamie has fully cooperated with the U.S. Attorney's office and is very remorseful for what has happened," Tierney tells WVXU.

The U.S. Attorney also filed a plea document in the case on Tuesday. Tierney says a plea hearing will be held in federal court here within a few weeks.

"That's where Jamie will plead guilty to the bill of information," Tierney said.

The charges carry a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.