Mag Instrument Inc. will plead guilty to campaign finance violations for allegedly making "conduit contributions" to congressmen from Utah and Texas in 1992, lawyers said.
"We are settling the matter," said Gary Lincenberg, a lawyer for the Ontario-based manufacturer of Mag-Lite flashlights. "It's an agreement based on the two misdemeanor counts."Lincenberg declined further comment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Harris confirmed Thursday that Mag Instrument will plead guilty to two counts of violating federal campaign finance laws.
Charges were filed Thursday and arraignment was scheduled Monday, when terms of the plea agreement were expected to be disclosed.
The firm allegedly made "conduit contributions" to two candidates in 1992 by making contributions in the names of employees and reimbursing them for the contributions. Corporations cannot make donations to federal campaigns.
The money went to Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Texas, who won re-election, and Rep. Wayne Owens, R-Utah, who failed in his U.S. Senate bid. Neither Wilson nor Owens are in Congress now.
"Those are just contributions they made for humanitarian purposes," Lincenberg said Thursday. "They were supporting candidates who were speaking out about the atrocities of the Balkan (Peninsula) wars. They were not trying to gain any business advantage."
Lincenberg refused to say how much money Mag Instrument officials allegedly gave to either campaign.
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, candidates for federal office can receive up to $1,000 during the primary and another $1,000 in the general race.