Massachusetts officials seeing spike in “straw donor” cases

The 11 cases have resulted in forfeitures of $566,000

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts election officials say they’re seeing a spike in the number of so-called “straw donor” cases on Beacon Hill.

Straw donors are meant to disguise the true source of campaign contributions. They typically occur when an individual or business gives money to employees, friends or family members who in turn donate the money to candidates.

Since 2013, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance has settled 11 such cases, with nine of those resolved in just the past two years alone.

State campaign finance law prohibits donors from disguising the true source of contributions.

The law also bans most businesses from contributing to candidates, political action committees or parties — either directly or indirectly.

The 11 cases have resulted in forfeitures of $566,000, including the largest single forfeiture of $185,000.

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