Conservative political consultant pleads to diverting money

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia political consultant has pleaded guilty to diverting tens of thousands of dollars from conservative political action committees and filing false reports to cover it up.

Sixty-six-year-old Scott Mackenzie of Arlington was treasurer of multiple PACs, including Conservative StrikeForce and Conservative Majority Fund.

Conservative StrikeForce has been under scrutiny since 2014 when Republican Ken Cuccinelli sued the PAC after his losing 2013 gubernatorial campaign in Virginia. Cuccinelli said the group raised more than $2 million invoking his name and campaign in solicitations, but his campaign only received $10,000.

In a plea deal announced Tuesday by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Mackenzie admitted directing $32,500 from the PACs to a Winchester woman with whom he had a relationship. Election reports falsely claimed she earned the money doing political work.

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