Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was charged by federal authorities with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering scheme for his alleged role in a $60 million bribery scheme. Political consultant Jeff Longstreth, lobbyist Neil Clark, lobbyist Juan Cespedes, and former Ohio GOP Chairman Matthew Borges were charged with the same crime.
The charges stem from an investigation into a controversial $1 billion bailout for two nuclear power plants passed by Ohio lawmakers in 2019. The bill faced stiff opposition, and opponents unsuccessfully tried to overturn the law after it was passed.
The FBI says the five men arranged to have energy companies funnel funds through Generation Now, a 501(c)(4) "dark money" organization created by Longstreth. While he started the group, the FBI said it was secretly controlled by Householder, who used the money, which totaled more than $60 million, over three years to help fund the reelection campaigns of politicians who supported his bid to be Speaker.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years behind bars.
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