Democrats

Dem Rep. Alcee Hastings has paid convicted money-launderer $75k for 'part-time' work in district office

Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) has paid a convicted money launderer nearly $75,000 for "part-time" work out of a district office, salary filings show.

Dona Nichols-Jones, the wife of Mikel Jones, a former staffer to Hastings who served as his district administrator from 1993 to 2011, is currently listed as an "aide" in his Palm Beach County office.

Dona Nichols-Jones, along with her husband, were convicted in 2011 of money laundering, conspiracy, and fraud after they had used hundreds of thousands of dollars from a business loan for personal use, the FBI announced in November 2011.

The couple's scheme stemmed from a loan that Mikel received to help finance a Philadelphia law firm he owned. Jones secured a multi-million line of credit from Stillwater, a New York-based lender, and agreed to only use the credit for legitimate expenses in relation to his firm's operation.

The Joneses set up a shell company and created fake invoices in order to funnel money to themselves. The stolen money was used to pay credit card bills and purchase tickets to sporting events.

The Joneses also laundered $160,000 through Dona and her daughter's Florida bank account. This money was then used to replenish funds Jones had taken from his law firm trust account. From 2008 to 2009, the Joneses obtained $350,000 using fraudulent invoices and false representations.

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