WASHINGTON – The FBI and U.S. attorney's office are investigating the apparent theft of about $350,000 in checks from a Democratic campaign committee, federal law enforcement and Democratic Party officials said Thursday.
The money was traced to a private bank account that bank records indicate was opened by Roger Chiang, who was employed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (search), said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
All but about $10,000 has been recovered, they said. Chiang, who was involved in fund raising, has been fired, the Democratic official said. No charges have been filed.
Chiang did not immediately respond to a reporter's message, left Thursday on his home answering machine, seeking comment.
The campaign committee is the primary fund-raising and political organization for Senate Democrats. Overall, the committee reported raising more than $76 million for the two-year election cycle that just ended.
Campaign committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said the committee's internal auditors discovered the problem in early October. With the help of the U.S. Capitol Police (search), they traced and recovered most of the money in time to use it in this fall's Senate campaigns, he said.
The money that has yet to be recovered was insured, said Woodhouse.
The checks -- many made out to "DSCC" -- instead were deposited to an account called DSCAMPO, the officials said. Bank records showed that account was opened in Chiang's name, using his home address and Social Security number, the officials said.
The alleged theft and the investigation were initially reported in Thursday editions of The Washington Post.
Chiang was previously director of outreach to Asians and Pacific islanders for the Democratic National Committee (search), according to a biography of Chiang on http://asianamerican.net, an Internet site that promotes relations between Asia and North America. He also worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration, the Web site said.