Evan Snapper apparently figured that he would help Hillary Clinton get elected president and enjoy an Elton John concert, all at a client's expense. Federal authorities said that Snapper also knew he was breaking federal election laws, and may now spend five years in prison remembering that expensive concert.
Snapper, 46, of Fairfield, Connecticut, a former wealth manager with the New York firm of Anchin, Block & Anchin, pleaded guilty to fraud today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Snapper caused the Hillary Clinton for President Committee to unwittingly submit false statements to the Federal Election Commission, authorities said.
Clinton is currently U.S. Secretary of State.
The reports falsely showed that 21 individuals known to Snapper had contributed $2,300 each to the committee when, as Snapper admitted, the contributions had actually been made by one person, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.
According to court documents, the individual was a client of Anchin, Block & Anchin, where Snapper had served as a principal. Snapper admitted that in March 2008, he told this person that Elton John was performing a concert in New York City on April 9, 2008, with the proceeds of the ticket sales going to Clinton's campaign.
Snapper knew that the individual supported Clinton for president and, when he asked Snapper what he could do for the campaign, Snapper told him to find people to buy tickets to the concert.
When the individual told Snapper he planned to have relatives and friends buy tickets and that he would then reimburse them, Snapper knew this was illegal under election law, but did not inform his client. Rather he helped him do it, authorities said.
As his wealth manager, Snapper had authorized access to this person's bank accounts. Snapper admitted that he and 20 people agreed to purchase tickets - at $2,300 a ticket -- with the understanding that they would be reimbursed by the individual.
According to court documents, Snapper admitted having direct or indirect contact with all of these people to coordinate the ticket purchases and reimbursements. Snapper made the reimbursements from the individual's bank accounts, and disguised the reimbursements in various ways so that they would not appear to be political contributions.
In total, Snapper caused the source of $48,300 in individual contributions to the committee to be falsely reported to the FEC, authorities said.
According to election law, an individual may give up to $2,400 to a candidate for national office or the candidate's election committee.
At sentencing, scheduled for Apr. 7, 2011, Snapper faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, authorities said.