Philadelphia Man To Be Charged With Theft of Campaign Finances

HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA —Attorney General Josh Shapiro is today announcing felony charges against Lewis F. Thomas III of Philadelphia. Thomas served as a political campaign manager for a district attorney candidate between December 2016 and June 2017 where he misused campaign funds to purchase personal goods and electronics that he never returned to the campaign at the end of the primary.

“When entrusted to run a campaign, managing the donations to ensure they are used in proper and ethical ways is paramount. This defendant took advantage of his access to campaign donations to fund his personal endeavors. Deceiving donors and taking advantage of a position of power is nefarious–it’s illegal.”

During his time as campaign manager, Thomas used campaign funds to purchase personal goods including airline tickets, clothes, and over $1,500 in iTunes transactions. He also made repeated cash withdrawals during his tenure, which he did not record on his campaign finance report. He also made various purchases for electronics from the campaign account, including a Macbook Pro and an Apple Watch, which were never returned.

Investigators were able to track $10,070 in cash deposits to Thomas’s personal bank account following the timeline and amount of the cash withdraws from the campaign account. Thomas also utilized his candidate’s personal bank account information, without her knowledge or approval, to make a $400 payment to his son’s private school in October of 2017.

Thomas is being charged with Theft by Unlawful taking and Receiving Stolen Property. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General James Price. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.