Friday, May 10, 2013

Crapo Campaign Lost $250K In Bad Investment

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

An odd press release came out of the office of the Crapo for Senate Campaign late Friday morning.

Crapo doesn't consider running for re-election until his current term (his third) runs out in 2016, but it turns out that his last campaign suffered a significant investment loss in 2010.

"I was not asked about nor approved this loan, and am certainly disappointed that the money was lost," Crapo said in a prepared statement. "This circumstance occurred during a period of transition between treasurers."

Crapo said that in September 2008, a top aide to his campaign authorized a $250,000 loan to an Idaho-based limited liability company, Blueberry Guru, LLC, using campaign funds. The loan was never repaid. According to Gavin McCaleb, the managing member of the company that invested the loan, Blueberry Guru handed the funds over to a third-party venture that absconded with the money. Crapo was informed of the loss in late 2010.

Crapo tried turning to the the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys office, but feds indicated that they were not in a position to pursue the matter further and the investigation was closed.

"Campaigns often invest funds during off-election years, seeking to increase campaign funds," said Washington-based attorney Stephen Ryan who advised the Crapo campaign. "[Crapo] was not consulted about this specific transfer of money for what ultimately became a bad loan. Although the campaign reviewed many avenues to retrieve the money, those efforts have been unsuccessful."

As a result, the Crapo for Senate Campaign filed two amended campaign reports Thursday—detailing the loss—with the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, which, in turn, provided them to the Federal Election Commission.

Little information is available on Blueberry Guru, LLC, which has since been dissolved according to the Idaho Secretary of State's office. The registered agent for Blueberry Guru was Gavin McCaleb a Boise-based real estate agent and short sale negotiator.

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