The former attorney for assisted suicide physician Jack “Dr. Death” Kevorkian has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Michigan for alleged crimes relating to fundraising for the 2004 presidential campaign including violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act, making false statements and obstruction of justice.More...
Kevorkian attorney Geoffrey Fieger, 56, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., his law partner Vernon Johnson, 45, Birmingham, Mich., conspired to make more than $125,000 in illegal campaign contributions to the 2004 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John Edwards.
As alleged in the indictment, returned on Aug. 21 and unsealed Friday, Fieger and Johnson are both attorneys and officers of the Michigan law firm Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Johnson, P.C., of Southfield, Mich., and have both been practicing law for more than 20 years.
The indictment charges that, unbeknownst to Sen. Edwards’ campaign, the defendants caused more than 60 persons, known as straw donors, to make contributions in the then-maximum allowable amount of $2,000 per donor, contributions which were actually paid for by the Fieger firm rather than the named donors. The indictment alleges a conspiracy that continued from March 2003 through January 2004...
The indictment states that Sen. Edwards’ campaign was unaware of Fieger and Johnson’s actions. Sen. Edwards and his campaign staff have cooperated fully with this investigation. Fieger says he had no role in his firm’s campaign contributions.
The 10-count indictment charges Fieger and Johnson, together in some counts and Fieger alone in the remaining counts, with conspiracy; causing the Edwards Campaign to unwittingly make false statements; making illegal campaign contributions in the name of another; and making illegal campaign contributions from a corporation.
Fieger was also charged with obstruction of justice. The maximum penalty for each charge of conspiracy, false statements, and illegal campaign contributions is up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the obstruction of justice charge is up to 10 years in jail, with the same maximum fine.
In 2005, federal agents raided Fieger’s law offices, taking payroll records and other financial documents including campaign materials and ticket stubs for an Edwards fundraiser.
On Aug. 15, a lawsuit Fieger had filed against the U.S. Department of Justice was dismissed by a federal judge. Fieger had claimed that the DOJ was unlawfully investigating the campaign contributions of his firm’s employees. Fieger had accused federal agents and prosecutors of terrorizing his employees in an effort to learn who they had voted for in the 2004 presidential election and their voting records. He claimed the Bush Administration was using antiterrorism efforts to seize his employees’ financial records.
Last month, the Michigan Supreme Court had reinstated a formal reprimand against Fieger for likening three judges to Nazis while he was hosting a 1999 Detroit-area radio show, saying that Fieger’s remarks were “vulgar and crude”. The court rejected Fieger’s claim that his remarks were constitutionally protected.
In 1998, Fieger unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Republican Michican governor John Engler, running as a Democrat. ..