White collar crime can pay in the strangest ways. Take the case of former U. S. House of Representatives member Alan Mollohan (D-WV), who represented the First Congressional District of West Virginia from 1983 to 2011. Both conservative and liberal watchdog organizations alleged serious multiple illegal actions by Mollohan, the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigated and found ample evidence of the allegations. Therefore, you’d expect the DOJ to prosecute Mollohan, wouldn’t you? Well, Mollohan was not prosecuted and is prospering to this day, lobbying for a non-profit organization that trains law enforcement to fight white collar crime!
In 2006, a conservative watchdog group called the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a 500-page complaint against Mollohan alleging that he founded and supported numerous non-profit organizations managed by his family members and associates, and illegally funneled millions of dollars in federal funds to himself and others through those non-profits. According to the NLPC, Mollohan’s assets increased from less than $600,000 in 2000 to over $6 million in 2004, and that Mollohan’s did not disclose his burgeoning wealth in required financial disclosure forms.
Mollohan’s questionable non-profit organizations included the Canaan Valley Institute, the Institute for Scientific Research, the Mountain Made Foundation, the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation and the Vandalia Heritage Foundation.
The Department of Justice investigated the allegations but closed the investigation in 2010 without bringing charges against Mollohan. In that same year, Mollohan lost his reelection bid and was succeeded by David McKinley (R-WV).
Due to the allegations’ seriousness and the DOJ’s puzzling decision to close the investigation without criminally charging Mollohan, the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a request for the investigative records under the Freedom of Information Act. The DOJ failed or refused to release the documents, so CREW sued in February 2013. The suit prompted the DOJ to release the documents.
Review of the documents led CREW and Politico to conclude that Mollohan should have been indicted by the DOJ and that the DOJ’s failure to indict says as much about the federal agency’s failure/refusal to hold high level public officials accountable as it does about Mollohan’s illegal activities.
Fast-forward to today: the unindicted Mollohan is a federal lobbyist representing the National White Collar Crime Center, headquartered in West Virginia, which is a non-profit organization that “delivers training to thousands of law enforcement professionals in the areas of computer forensics, cybercrime, financial crime and intelligence analysis.” In 2014, this non-profit organization received $7+ million from the DOJ and paid $50,000 for Congressional lobbying by Mollohan and one of his former House of Representatives employees.
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.