Politicians are experiencing an increase in theft from their campaign funds, with cyber criminals targeting these massive campaign accounts. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Politicians are experiencing an increase in theft from their campaign funds with cyber criminals targeting these massive campaign accounts. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about it. Lot of money sitting there, huh? I mean, these big massive campaign accounts, it’s just kind of a new target. I mean, I expect, I expect this to get a lot worse.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And that’s what the cybersecurity experts are telling us right now, because we have already seen a huge uptick in the amount of, or the number of politicians, I should say, that are reporting to the FEC, Hey, I don’t have receipts for these expenses because my account got hacked. Or they stole our checks. And it’s been increasing pretty much every single year for about a decade now. And the reason for that, I mean, it almost ties directly in with Citizens United, with McCutcheon.

Mike Papantonio: No question.

Farron Cousins: Because we have these huge super PACs that are, are literally some of them sitting on tens of millions of dollars. And the way it’s structured is you don’t have somebody sitting there every day watching expenses to know, wait a minute, this is a fraudulent $500 payment. This thousand dollars shouldn’t have gone here. And these cyber criminals have finally realized, this is the Wild West. Nobody’s looking over our shoulders. We can take what we want.

Mike Papantonio: It’s called blind stupid money. I mean, that’s what it is. It’s called blind. There’s so much money there, nobody’s really keeping up with it. In this story, they talk about, they talk about Matt Gaetz’s program, the National Association for Manufacturers. You remember the whole things with Black Life Matters, all that money disappeared because it’s impossible to keep up with it, I guess, or there’s no system to keep up with it. It’s kinda like that whole GoFundMe thing, which serves a really good purpose. It does a lot of good. But when you’re talking about money at this scale where you got people writing checks for a hundred thousand dollars and it’s just like fun money.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Right?

Farron Cousins: Well, yeah. And another part of it too is just the amount of money that comes in on a daily basis. You know, I mean, if we were talking about accounts where they had a set amount of money and they knew for six months, nothing more comes in. So we know where our balance is at.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: Typically, you know, think of the average person’s bank account. You know how much money you have sitting in your checking account, you know how much comes in and how much goes out. With these accounts, we’re talking about transactions of thousands of dollars every single day of the week, whether it’s money coming in, or money going out, plane tickets, electronics, liquor stores. And those are all things that cyber criminals will steal your money and buy so it doesn’t raise suspicion. And they figured it out.

Mike Papantonio: Well, one thing. Yeah. One thing they’re doing is they’re copying, they’re forging checks.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: They’re doing prints of checks. They’ll take a legitimate check, run it through a machine, it looks exactly like the check. And so they’re forging these images. That’s, that’s one of the real popular ones because these checks, you know, checkbooks are laying around. It’s just the disorganization is almost overwhelming.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.