Crime

Three Charged in $3.5 Million Political Action Committees Contribution Scheme

“God Will Give Me Justice” Tattooed On One Suspect’s Chest

$3.5 millions of dollars in contributions intended for both Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle never arrived.

This week, two California men and a Texas man were indicted by a federal grand jury in Austin, Texas, for their alleged involvement the scheme to operate two fraudulent political action committees (PACs) during that federal election in 2016-2017.

As alleged in the indictment, Matthew Nelson Tunstall, 34, of Los Angeles, California; Robert Reyes, Jr., 38, of Hollister, California; and Kyle George Davies, 29, of Austin, Texas, solicited contributions to Liberty Action Group PAC and Progressive Priorities PAC under the guise that the PACs were affiliated with or meaningfully supporting Trump or Clinton for public office.

Tunstall has drawn scrutiny for years over the activities of his political action committees he continued to operate. More recently, he posed as an internet influencer under the name Matte Nox, flashing Gucci rings, wearing designer accessories and driving a black Porsche.

Tunstall

In social media photos, Tunstall sometimes appears shirtless, exposing a tattoo on his chest that reads “God Will Give Me Justice.”

Between January 2016 and April 2017, the defendants obtained approximately $3.5 million from unwitting donors “based on false and misleading representations and used those funds to enrich themselves and to pay for additional fraudulent advertisements soliciting donations,” the Department of Justice announced in a press release.

Tunstall and Reyes

Tunstall and Reyes are also alleged to have laundered more than $350,000 in illegal proceeds from the scheme through a third-party vendor to conceal the use of those funds for their own benefit. 

While the charges cover activities in 2016 and 2017, Tunstall continued to operate groups that raised millions of dollars through 2021. One group, the Support American Leaders PAC, raised nearly $3 million in 2019 and 2020 and disclosed nearly $700,000 in direct payments to Tunstall.

The Support American Leaders PAC was accused of using President Trump’s name and likeness to solicit contributions, and in 2019 Mr. Trump’s campaign sent a “disavowal notice” to the F.E.C. Tunstall will face more court time for these separate cjar

Both Tunstall and Reyes are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to make a false statement to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), multiple counts of wire fraud, and multiple counts of money laundering.

Davies is charged with conspiracy commit wire and to make a false statement to the FEC, and multiple counts of wire fraud.

Davies

Tunstall made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; Reyes and Davies made appearances in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of California and the Western District of Texas, respectively.

If convicted of all counts, Tunstall and Reyes both face a maximum total penalty of 125 years in prison. If convicted of all counts, Davies faces a maximum total penalty of 65 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
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