Riverside County man pleads guilty in scheme to swindle political donors out of more than $250K

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An 82-year-old Blythe man has pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to defrauding thousands of donors out of more than $250,000 given to phony political action committees purported to be associated with Democratic Party candidates, prosecutors said.

John Pierre Dupont, who was convicted of wire fraud and identity theft, swindled the money in a scheme that ran from 2015 to 2019, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

None of the money donated to the phony PACs was spent on political candidates and Dupont failed to report the contributions, as required, in filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Southern California News Group reported.

Dupont used the funds to purchase a Mercedes-Benz sedan, pay credit cards bills and obtain cash withdrawals, according to prosecutors. He entered his plea last week and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21.

Dupont, of Blythe, operated multiple websites purported to be PACs that supported an array of Democratic Party candidates, according to the news group.

The phony PACs claimed to support the 2016 presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders as well as Andrew Gillum, who ran for governor of Florida in 2018.

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