Evergreen: Josh Mandel Once Again Linked to Shady Donor Facing Criminal Allegations
April 12, 2021
In Case You Missed It, after Republican donors kicked Josh Mandel out of a fundraising event he desperately tried to crash this weekend, Josh Mandel is now turning to the donor base he knows best — donors with shady records surrounded by criminal allegations. The Toledo Blade reported late yesterday that Mandel is hosting a fundraiser with Jeff Anstead, whose company faces a multi-million dollar fine for reportedly defrauding a federal program that helps Americans afford telephone and internet service.
In 2018, the Federal Communications Commission levied a record fine of nearly $64 million against Anstead’s American Broadband and Telecommunications for “apparent repeated, systematic, and large-scale violations” after the company allegedly used fake accounts to secure millions of dollars from the federal government program. According to the FCC, Anstead used this money to buy a multi-million dollar condo, a membership to a yacht club and an $8 million personal jet.
From the Toledo Blade story: “It would be hard to describe a more brazen or textbook example of fraud,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told The Washington Post, “particularly when the entire purpose of the Lifeline program is to benefit low-income individuals.”
And, as the Toledo Blade reminds us, Mandel has a long history of working closely with donors surrounded by criminal allegations: “His relationship with Canton businessman Ben Suarez was the basis for the government’s 2014 criminal case against Mr. Suarez alleging he illegally funneled money to Mr. Mandel’s failed Senate campaign two years earlier.”
While it may seem tough for him to sink lower, Josh Mandel always seems to find a way. Will Josh move forward with the May 20 event? Will he return past donations from Anstead? Why does Josh keep surrounding himself with donors who find themselves on the wrong side of the law?
Read more from the Toledo Blade HERE and below:
- A Toledo telecommunications executive whose company faces a $63 million fine for allegedly defrauding a federal program that helps disadvantaged Americans afford telephone and internet service is hosting a fund-raiser for Republican Senate hopeful Josh Mandel next month.
- Jeff Ansted, the chief executive at Toledo-based American Broadband and Telecommunications, is listed as a host for Mr. Mandel’s May 20 fund-raiser at the Inverness Club, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by The Blade.
- Mr. Ansted hasn’t contributed money directly to federal candidates since the Federal Communications Commission proposed the fine in late 2018, according to federal campaign records. But he backed Mr. Mandel’s earlier Senate bids and has reemerged in time to canvass on his behalf in what’s expected to be a crowded and expensive primary that stretches the state’s Republican donor base.
- In October, 2018, the FCC sought to fine Mr. Ansted’s company a record $63.4 millionfor “apparent repeated, systematic, and large-scale violations” of the federal Lifeline program, which offers a small discount on telecom service for low-income Americans.
- American Broadband was accused of raking in millions in reimbursements using fake accounts and accounts linked to dead people. The FCC alleged Mr. Ansted personally embezzled the money to buy a Ferrari convertible, a $1.3 million Florida condo, yacht club and country club memberships, and an $8 million Cessna jet.
- “It would be hard to describe a more brazen or textbook example of fraud,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told The Washington Post, “particularly when the entire purpose of the Lifeline program is to benefit low-income individuals.”
- “I’ve got a relationship that goes back to probably 2014 or 2015 with Josh and he reached out to us and we’re happy to support him,” he said.
- It’s not Mr. Mandel’s first time linked to a controversial GOP donor. His relationship with Canton businessman Ben Suarez was the basis for the government’s 2014 criminal case against Mr. Suarez alleging he illegally funneled money to Mr. Mandel’s failed Senate campaign two years earlier.