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‘Shell companies’ may have been used to conceal Greitens’ donors


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Emails turned over to the House investigative committee by Michael Hafner after a second subpoena reveal that “shell companies” appear to have been established to conceal the identities of donors to Gov. Eric Greitens gubernatorial campaign.

In relation to the recent batch of documents, the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight will be subpoenaing information related to the creation of to LLCs and will seek testimony from William Scharf, Greitens’ current policy director.

An email string sent July 9, 2016, by Scharf — who, at the time, was policy director for Catherine Hanaway, a candidate for governor — to Hafner with the subject of “Happy Saturday” includes an attachment titled “Greitens Hides Donors.”

The Greitens campaign had received $40,000 from two companies with the only records of their existence being articles of incorporation and MEC filings of the contribution, the email from Scharf stated.

The two companies — White Impala LLC and ELX83 LLC — were formed with the Secretary of State in December 2015. 18 days after ELX83 was formed, the Greitens campaign disclosed a $20,000 donation from the company. On April 1, 2016, Greitens campaign disclosed $10,000 donations from both companies.

“By all appearances, these two entities were created to channel contributions to the Greitens campaign from an anonymous donor or donors. Missouri law explicitly prohibits campaign contributions made ‘in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the actual source of the contribution,” Scharf writes. “Moreover, the use of this arrangement to hide donors certainly runs counter to Greitens’s repeated attacks on ‘corruption’ and ‘insider political game’ in Missouri.”

The investigative committee plans to make the second batch of documents from Hafner publically available after personal information is redacted.

“The majority of the documents fill in some things for the second report, provide further documents in support of the second report,” said Rep. Jay Barnes, committee chairman.

Part of the documents show the existence of campaign activity in 2014 and prior to the registration of a committee.

An email sent by Hafner to Greitens on Dec. 12, 2014, reads, “The way I see it the two options you have are forming either a Candidate Committee or an Exploratory Committee. Forming a continuing committee (PAC) would make it difficult for you to personally raise funds for it while you are meeting with donors/activists/promoting yourself and candidacy/etc., plus would raise Ethics questions among your potential opponents (knowing Shweich and Hanaway).”

Greitens for Missouri, the now-governor’s campaign committee, wasn’t formed until Feb. 25, 2015.