New York marketing executive Troy White allegedly received more than $608,000 in illegal funds to conduct unsolicited campaign efforts on behalf of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
White pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of failing to disclose on tax documents how much his company, Wytehouse Marketing Inc., was paid.
The money allegedly came from Washington D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson, a former city contractor who also allegedly financed a secret campaign for then-mayoral candidate Vincent Gray in 2010.
Federal prosecutors allege that Thompson paid White to hire "street teams" for get-out-the-vote efforts in Texas and at least three other states. The street teams distributed stickers, yard signs and posters in support of Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama during the spring of 2008.
Neither White nor Thompson disclosed the campaign expenditures to the Federal Election Commission as required by law.
Though Clinton was not specified as the candidate in court documents, Lyn Utrecht, an attorney for Clinton’s 2008 campaign, issued a statement late Wednesday saying the campaign “has cooperated fully” in the White case.
Many on the Clinton campaign's senior staff had never heard of White, and one campaign official said no one in the campaign's leadership knew about the independent canvassing campaign.
"I’m absolutely certain he had nothing to do with any of us," said Garry Mauro, chairman of Clinton’s Texas campaign. "I was at the headquarters almost every day, I traveled the state, and I never heard of this guy."
Thompson was not mentioned by name in the White case, however, prosecutors have been building a separate case against him since he financed a secret campaign for Gray's successful mayoral run. Court records show that he is also the subject of a grand jury investigation.
White, 48, initially offered his urban outreach marketing services to the Clinton campaign directly, and was refused. After he was turned down, Clinton adviser Minyon Moore allegedly helped connect White with Thompson.
White faces up to one year in prison for the misdemeanor conviction, though he could receive less as he continues to cooperate in the investigation.