Now that Paul Lewis Hackett III has had his ego deflated and been embarrassed into quitting the Senate race, he should be criminally prosecuted for defrauding his contributors!!! I say charge the bum with Theft and Telecommunications Fraud.
In fundraising appeals, including those done via letter, phone, and internet, Hackett repeatedly assured his contributors that he would not leave the Senate race. People -- depending on Hackett's promises -- gave him a boatload of money. According to this Toledo Blade story, still posted on Hackett's website:
Mr. Hackett raised $465,779 last quarter, a spokesman said – about half of which came from contributions made through his Web site – and had about $230,000 left on hand.
Nearly 1/2 a million dollars!
As you know, despite his promises, Hackett cut and ran from the Senate race yesterday, but he isn't giving his contributors their money back. Why do I think this is criminal?
Ohio's theft law (ORC § 2913.02) says:
No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services in any of the following ways:
(1) Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
(2) Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
(3) By deception;
(4) By threat;
(5) By intimidation.
Paul Hackett used deception to deprive his contributors of their money. That's theft!
Hackett's actions also constitute Telecommunications Fraud as defined in ORC § 2913.05.
No person, having devised a scheme to defraud, shall knowingly disseminate, transmit, or cause to be disseminated or transmitted by means of a wire, radio, satellite, telecommunication, telecommunications device, or telecommunications service any writing, data, sign, signal, picture, sound, or image with purpose to execute or otherwise further the scheme to defraud.
In this case, Paul Hackett devised a scheme to defraud contributors out of a lot of cash. Then Hackett knowingly solicited funds by many of the means described in the statute above.
Is there a chance that Hackett will be prosecuted for these crimes? I doubt it. But he should be!!!