FBI questions witnesses in Michele Fiore campaign finance probe

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FBI agents person been questioning witnesses successful an probe into run finances of City Councilwoman Michele Fiore, the Review-Journal has learned.

Among those interviewed was City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, a erstwhile adjacent ally, who had a falling-out with Fiore past summer.

Agents questioned Seaman openly astatine City Hall connected July 6 — a time erstwhile each City Council members were being briefed by unit connected the issues coming earlier the adjacent day’s assembly meeting, informed sources said. The agents showed up unannounced and flashed their badges.

“I tin corroborate that they were astatine City Hall and that they interviewed maine astir Fiore,” Seaman said Monday. She declined further comment.

Sources said agents are investigating Fiore’s run finances, but their absorption is unclear.

An FBI spokeswoman declined remark Monday. “As a substance of policy, the FBI can’t corroborate oregon contradict investigations, the spokeswoman said.

Fiore, the Nevada GOP nationalist committeewoman, did not respond to requests for comment. In that role, Fiore is liable for the party’s fundraising successful the state.

The FBI probe dates backmost to astatine slightest January, erstwhile agents executed a hunt warrant astatine her 6205 Red Pine Court location successful northwest Las Vegas, sources said.

A neighbour who declined to beryllium identified said astatine the clip that agents wearing FBI emblazoned jackets showed up astir 6 a.m. successful an armored motortruck and respective SUVs. Agents walked retired of the location a mates of hours aboriginal with a container of papers. At 1 constituent Fiore besides walked retired of the location carrying paperwork, the neighbour said.

Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald could not beryllium reached for comment.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman declined to comment, saying, “I don’t cognize anything.”

The Review-Journal reported successful March 2019 that Fiore had not been shy about spending run and governmental enactment committee funds connected goods and services that propulsion the limits of the state’s run concern law.

Fiore, who was elected to the assembly successful June 2017, had spent astir $200,000 connected gasoline, Uber rides, travel, edifice and market store tabs, furnishings and her ain businesses, records showed astatine the time.

She denied immoderate wrongdoing successful a written statement, explaining that the wealth went toward unprecedented assemblage outreach and different authoritative duties. She said her Future for Nevadans PAC chiefly pays for “constituent services.”

During that period, Fiore spent governmental funds connected meals totaling much than $16,000 astatine 1 section Italian restaurant, filled up her state vessel astatine a outgo of $4,000 and took astir $2,500 successful Uber rides, records showed.

She besides bought much than $6,000 successful furniture, which she said went to her City Hall office. She spent an further $21,000 astatine market stores and big-box chains similar Costco and Walmart, records showed.

And Fiore poured astir $140,000 successful run and PAC wealth into her consulting firm, Politically Off The Wall, and an further $10,000 into her governmental magazine, Truth successful Politics, from February 2017 to May 2018.

The PAC reported it made a outgo of $8,000 successful February 2020 to A Bright Present Foundation, a nonprofit of which Fiore serves arsenic president and director, authorities records show.

A Bright Present Foundation was formed successful 2019 “to rise funds for the Las Vegas Community to supply goods and/or services arsenic needed,” according to its articles of incorporation. Fiore’s daughter, Sheena Siegel, had been listed arsenic the nonprofit’s secretary.

Since 2018, the PAC has fixed astir $150,000 to Siegel’s lawsuit readying company, Hamlet Events, for peculiar events and advertising, run concern and authorities concern records show. The institution has received much than doubly arsenic overmuch from the PAC arsenic governmental campaigns and committees person implicit the aforesaid period.

Fiore faced an ultimately failed callback effort past year implicit her wide practice of Ward 6, but successful portion due to the fact that of her enactment for converting a historical hay barn astatine Floyd Lamb Park into an lawsuit center. Critics suggested that the conversion would payment Fiore’s daughter.

The Review-Journal besides disclosed successful 2019 that Fiore had failed to study astatine slightest $91,000 successful taxation liens the IRS filed against her and rental income from a location successful Colorado connected her Nevada Financial Disclosure Statements.

Fiore declined to sermon the omissions astatine the time, but wrote successful an email that each of her disclosures were close and that she had nary taxation debt, trusts oregon spot that she was required to report.

In her archetypal 7 months arsenic a committee subordinate of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority successful 2018, Fiore traveled astir the satellite astatine the agency’s expense, contempt a argumentation betterment aimed astatine limiting committee subordinate question to 1 travel a year, records obtained by the paper showed astatine the time.

She spent astir $33,000 successful payer funds, accounting for astir fractional of each committee question betwixt 2016 and 2019, raising questions astir whether she violated the intent of the policy, records showed.

To assistance money immoderate of the trips, Fiore besides utilized run contributions, drafting concerns astir whether the spending perchance violated run laws that prohibit the usage of donations for idiosyncratic expenses. She denied wrongdoing.

Earlier this year, Fiore amended years of run and PAC fiscal disclosures, saying that she lent astir $60,000 to the 2 accounts since 2017. The councilwoman did not instrumentality messages astatine the clip seeking to recognize wherefore the disclosures were delayed.

Last June, Fiore gave up the rubric of politician pro tem aft coming nether occurrence for “racially charged” remarks she was said to person made astatine the Clark County Republican Party convention.

She told reporters that her determination to measurement distant from her appointed presumption had thing to bash with the contention implicit her comments opposing affirmative action.

Fiore said astatine the clip that she wanted to absorption connected the country’s statesmanlike race, which falls nether her occupation arsenic the authorities GOP’s nationalist committeewoman.

The councilwoman, whose word expires successful November 2022, has hinted astatine moving for politician successful 2024 but not made immoderate ceremonial announcements.

Two days aft the January onslaught connected the U.S. Capitol, Fiore attended the Republican National Committee’s wintertime gathering successful Florida, wearing a vest that showed enactment of erstwhile President Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report.

She told the newspaper, “I surely clasp President Trump.”

After Joe Biden was inaugurated arsenic the country’s 46th president, Fiore continued to explicit enactment for Trump.

“History volition retrieve President Trump arsenic our greatest, arsenic 1 of our top presidents,” she said.

As a Nevada assemblywoman successful aboriginal 2016, Fiore traveled to Oregon, wherever protesters had holed up astatine the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, saying she wanted to enactment with national agents successful an effort to diffuse a standoff. But she besides told the Review-Journal astatine the clip that she wanted to face overreach from the national government.

Fiore grabbed nationalist headlines successful precocious 2015, erstwhile she posted a representation of her household holding firearms and dressed successful matching reddish shirts and bluish jeans connected societal media.

“It’s up to Americans to support America,” she wrote connected Facebook. “We’re conscionable your mean American family. – With emotion & liberty, Michele.”

Contact Jeff German astatine jgerman@reviewjournal.com oregon 702-380-4564. German is simply a subordinate of the Review-Journal’s investigative team. Contact David Ferrara astatine dferrara@reviewjournal.com oregon 702-380-1039. Contact Shea Johnson astatine sjohnson@reviewjournal.com oregon 702-383-0272. Follow @JGermanRJ, @randompoker and @Shea_LVRJ connected Twitter.

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