A Nevada powerbroker who headed a billion-dollar real-estate company and pulled the strings of state politics as a prominent lobbyist for more than a decade was convicted Wednesday of making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.
Harvey Whittemore, 59, could face up to 15 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts tied to nearly $150,000 illegally funneled to Reid’s re-election campaign in 2007.
Later in the day, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks declared a mistrial on a count of lying to the FBI after jurors said they were deadlocked on that charge.
Whittemore stood with his arms behind his back and shook his head slightly after the verdicts were read. He and defense lawyers initially declined to comment on the verdicts pending a resolution of the final count.
Whittemore was convicted of making excessive campaign contributions, making contributions in the name of another and causing a false statement to be made to the Federal Election Commission.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The judge set sentencing for Sept. 23.
Reid had no comment on the verdicts, said Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for the senator.
Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing. He has said he was unaware of any potential problems with the money he received.