The treasurer of the super PAC We are America used a web site called Catholic Online to solicit donations for disaster relief including Hurricane Katrina but instead used the money for his own personal use. Michael Galloway of Bakersfield, Calif., owns a high-traffic website that takes charitable donations, has a fleet of tech companies and is now the treasurer for a new super PAC called We Are America, according to FEC filings. Prosecutors allege that he stole money from donors to his website, Catholic.org, and evaded taxes for years.
Galloway was arrested and arraigned June 5, 2014. As treasurer of We Are American, Galloway is responsible for the organization’s bookkeeping, according to Larry Noble, former general counsel for the FEC. “The treasurer position is a position of trust,” Noble said. “He’s responsible for all the reporting. Therefore that is a position I’d be concerned about in terms of somebody being indicted for what sounds like fraudulent fundraising.” (Noble is also a former executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.)
In the indictment, federal prosecutors alleged that Galloway caused his employees to file false tax documents that reported less gross income than his company, Catholic Online, actually received from 2003 to 2006. Galloway’s employees wrote off his personal expenses as business expenses and recorded fake transactions that never actually occurred, according to the indictment. Galloway “under-reported his and his spouse’s taxable income during those years by $1,006,167, resulting in an additional tax due and owing of $234,473,” a Justice Department press release from June 2014 says including Catholic Online. But the email and telephone contacts on the Galloway entities site turned out to be unregistered, and several of the web links were broken.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.