Angelo Pesce is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Illinois for “theft by deception.” While behind bars, he’s barred from voting.
But that hasn’t stopped Pesce from apparently creating “Impeach the Assole” — a crudely named federal political action committee formed last week to raise political campaign cash — and another dubbed “Angelo Pesce Defends Pedophiles.”
No federal law prevents Pesce from forming a PAC or soliciting money for it. And he doesn’t have to tell unsuspecting donors he’s an inmate at Taylorville Correctional Center, having scammed a woman out of nearly $100,000.
Pesce’s situation is the latest reminder of a nagging problem with political committees: While most PACs follow the rules, there are few safeguards against hucksters looking to make a buck.
With some PACs, “people donating think it’s a legitimate organization, but sometimes the creators take your money and run,” said Brett Kappel, a Washington, D.C., campaign finance lawyer.
“There is no rule that a PAC is barred from buying a boat and riding off into the sunset,” added Brendan Fischer, associate counsel at the Campaign Legal Center.
As a practical matter, that makes it close to impossible for a misled political donor to recover his or her money.