RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds surrendered $18,500 in illegal campaign donations that he received from 2009 through 2014 from Cancer Treatment Centers of America executives.
The Republican senator is among 31 politicians to have received the illegal contributions, which totaled nearly $700,000, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America and several executives broke the law by reimbursing company officials with bonuses for individual contributions to candidates and campaign committees, the Rapid City Journal reported.
The FEC said there are no indications that any of the recipients knew the contributions were illegal. Rob Skjonsberg, chief of staff to Rounds and assistant treasurer of the Rounds for Senate committee, said the campaign knew nothing about the illegality of the contributions until being notified by the FEC.
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“It seems like the FEC came down on them appropriately,” Skjonsberg said of the offending contributors.
The company and three current or former company officials signed an agreement in July that required them to jointly pay a $288,000 fine to the FEC. The agreement also obligated the company and the officials to ask the candidates and committees who received the illegal contributions to forward those donations to the U.S. treasury.
Cancer Treatment Centers’ bonus program that reimbursed executives for political contributions began in 2002, but it was not discovered by the FEC until after the company conducted an internal investigation and self-reported the matter in 2015.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com