Former Idaho US congressional candidate Nicholas Jones has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and falsification of records.
Jones was a Republican candidate who ran for office in 2020 as the only challenger against current Congressman Russ Fulcher. Jones lost the race with 20% of the vote compared to Fulcher’s 80%.
Jones faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
The FBI investigated the case and alleged that Jones had used COVID-19 relief funds for personal expenditures and falsified an FEC filing to conceal thousands of dollars in in-kind contributions.
According to a press release sent out by the Department of Justice, Jones had received over $750,000 combined between the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The DOJ states that Jones used a significant portion of the money to pay for car loans, insurance policies, and campaign expenditures.
The DOJ described the campaign Jones ran by saying in their release, in part,
In 2020, Jones ran as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Jones told employees of his small business that they could continue to be paid their normal wages if they worked on his congressional campaign. Employees reported to work on behalf of Jones’s congressional campaign and were paid thousands of dollars in wages through Jones’s small business including, in part, with funds Jones had received as part of a PPP loan. After losing the primary election, Jones caused his campaign committee to file a campaign finance report with the FEC, which omitted any in-kind contributions from any entity or individual other than Jones, including the thousands of dollars of in-kind contributions to his campaign in the form of employee time and work.
Jones is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date to be determined.
You can view the full DOJ press release here. Note: Press Releases sent out by government agencies do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Idaho Dispatch was unable to locate any contact information for Jones to request a comment. If anyone has contact information for Jones, please sent it to email@example.com.
Tags: Covid-19, Election, Falsification of Records, Nicholas Jones, PPP, Russ Fulcher, Wire Fraud