CINCINNATI — On Tuesday, a federal judge in Cincinnati sentenced ex-political consultant Jamie Schwartz to two years in prison and ordered him to pay back the $1.4 million he stole from the campaign of Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot.
Schwartz admitted stealing Chabot's campaign money from 2011-2019.
The United States Attorney's Office had described Schwartz as the "de facto treasurer" for the campaign.
"I'd like to apologize to the congressman," Schwartz told U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black during the sentencing hearing. "I violated his trust. I violated the trust of those contributed to him."
According to court documents, Schwartz worked as a consultant for the campaign through his companies Fountain Square Group, LLC and Prime Media, LLC.
Fountain Square Group closed in 2019 during the investigation of money stolen from the campaign.
Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Singer told Judge Black that Schwartz's cooperation was "extraordinary."
"It's a rare occurrence when a defendant walks into our office with a box of evidence," Singer said. "He came fully and completely clean."
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Schwartz began cooperating with federal investigators in August 2019.
That cooperation followed a Federal Election Commission audit of the Chabot campaign.
Schwartz had been falsifying records in what he apparently believed was a failing attempt to cover his tracks.
Black said even though Schwartz deserved credit for cooperating with federal investigators, the former political consultant also did what was in his best interest.
"Given the circumstances, I'm not sure I really see that as such a noble gesture," Black said. "You've got some dues to be paid."
But those "dues" - 24 months in prison - were less than the 33-41 month prison sentence called for in federal guidelines.
Schwartz is scheduled to report to prison in May.