Former Democratic Party Chair pleads guilty to corruption charges, could face 5 years in prison

The former chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party pleading guilty Friday to a federal corruption charge after admitting he used campaign funds for personal reasons.

…like lavish trips and to pay tax bill to Uncle Sam.

SG Mike Sanders3

Mike Sanders, a former prosecutor, was convicted of wire fraud after admitting that he used campaign funds for trips to California’s wine country and Las Vegas, and to pay his federal income taxes, The Kansas City Star reported.

And the corruption ran deep.

Sanders’ chief of staff, Calvin Williford, a longtime friend, also pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Williford was reportedly involved in a scheme that centered around an unidentified printing company, where bogus or inflated invoices were used to funnel payments to Williford and other Sanders’ campaign aides that would not have to be disclosed, the newspaper reported.

A kickback scheme was also employed through an old high school friend, Steve Hill, to use $62,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.

More from The Star:

Steve Hill told The Star that Sanders hand-delivered checks made out to Hill ostensibly for campaign work that Hill never performed.

Hill said he would keep roughly 10 percent of the money and return the rest to Sanders, who told Hill the money was being used for political purposes.


Sanders and Williford are both free on signature bonds pending sentencing and face up to a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Tom Tillison


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