Cyber criminal allegedly stole nearly $700K from Kansas Senator Jerry Moran’s campaign
The FBI is investigating allegations that cyber criminals stole nearly $700,000 from Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran’s campaign, according to a letter the campaign sent to the Federal Elections Committee.
On Dec. 8, 2022, Moran campaign treasurer Timothy Gottschalk notified the FEC of “fraudulent activity by a third-party cyber-criminal” that was included in the campaign’s finance reporting, according to a Form 99 filing.
Moran’s campaign informed the FEC that on Nov. 14, their office was contacted by Astra Bank and notified of potentially fraudulent activity concerning two wire transfers to SRCP Media Inc. that totaled $690,000. The first wire transfer was sent on Oct. 25, for $345,000 and the second wire was sent on Nov. 9, for $345,000.
The letter states that Moran’s campaign reported the alleged theft to the Republic County Kansas Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 16. From there the case was transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and remains under investigation.
On Nov. 23, Moran’s campaign was notified by Astra Bank that $168,184.03 of the Nov. 9 wire transfer was recovered from Wells Fargo Bank, according to the letter.
“Cyber criminals targeted the accounting firm employed by Moran For Kansas and money was wired to fraudulent bank accounts,” a Moran campaign spokesman told outlets. “As soon as a discrepancy was realized, it was reported to law enforcement.”
“We are currently pursuing all avenues available to recover the money and there is an ongoing investigation with the FBI,” the spokesman added.
Moran handedly won reelection to a third term in the Senate in November, defeating Democrat Mark Holland 60.1% to 36.9%. Moran’s campaign spent more than $4.6 million in the 2022 election cycle, according to FEC filings.