It’s a disturbing trend.
As I’ve been researching the group Patriots for Economic Freedom, I’ve now spoken to four of the groups’s top donors and according to information from their Federal Election Commission reports none of them claim to have actually donated to the group.
Three of the four people I spoke to had charges on their credit card ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 for the Patriots for Economic Freedom group and contacted their credit card company to have the charges reversed. One of the four–a man in his 90s–didn’t remember the transaction that was shown as reversed on the FEC report at all.
All four people were conservatives who have donated to other groups in small amounts. None of them were familiar with Patriots for Economic Freedom other than the charges made to their credit cards. All four were also elderly, ranging in age from their late sixties to nineties. The four came from different states.
Patriots for Economic Freedom took in over $200,000 in this election and at least $84,000 of that money went to either treasurer / founder Tyler Whitney or his company Amagi and nearly $13,000 went to attorney Dan Backer’s company DB Capitol Strategies.
As I reported on this Storify story, Tyler Whitney’s name does not appear on the site for the group but instead lists an “Andrew Whitney.”