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Patricia Driscoll Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ on All Counts of Federal Indictment
- Updated: September 22, 2016
By Jerry Jordan, Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Patricia Pauline Driscoll, 38, walked into the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, which sits in the shadows of the nation’s Capitol, early Wednesday morning to turn herself over to U.S. Marshals after being indicted on two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of tax evasion, one count of interference with the administrations of IRS laws and one count of 1st degree fraud and she was kept in a holding cell until her arraignment at 1:45 p.m. that afternoon.
Driscoll is the former girlfriend of 2004 NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch, who made unfounded allegations of abuse against him in 2014 to the Dover, Del Police Department. In reaction to the sensitivity of domestic abuse, NASCAR suspended Busch for the first three races of 2015, including the Daytona 500. However, when no charges were brought against him by prosecutors, he was reinstated.
Standing before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey, Driscoll was dressed in a khaki suit with her hair in a bun and sporting dark-rimmed spectacles, she stood mostly silent, except to answer the Judge and converse with her attorney. She acknowledged she understood the charges against her and that she also understood her right to remain silent.
Speaking on her behalf, her attorney Barry Pollock, said his client pleads, “not guilty on all counts.”
“Beginning in or before 2010, and continuing thereafter up to and including July 2015, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant Patricia Driscoll did corruptly endeavor to obstruct and impede, and attempt to obstruct and impede, the due administration of the internal revenue laws,” states the first charge in the indictment.
Driscoll was accused of misappropriating, at least, $599,000 from the Armed Forces Foundation, which she ran for 12 years, in it’s most recent IRS 990 tax documents presented by prosecutors. Among the specific allegations were that she directed other to lie about the amount of money from contributions that actually went to military members and their families in need, that she concealed money she allegedly stole from the AFF for personal use, including money that was sued to pay debts from her private business, Frontline Defense Systems.
It was also alleged in the indictment that she falsely reported information on IRS tax forms, falsely categorized her expenses amongst other charges.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll falsely reported, and urged others to falsely report in correspondence, reports, donation solicitations, among others, that 94% to 96% of all AFF donations went directly to military members and their families through AFF programs, in order to induce donors to give to AFF and increase the amount of money available, knowing that such a large percentage of the donations did not go directly to military members and their families.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll falsely reported and caused others to falsely report her AFF compensation on Form 990s, filed with the IRS, by failing to include the fact that she received commissions from fundraising, the amounts of commissions that she received from fundraising, and the other benefits that she received, in addition to her reported salary.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll falsely categorized and caused others to falsely categorize expenses, in AFF’s books and records, as being for the benefit of the veterans, troops, and their families, when, in fact, they were for the private benefit of herself, thereby causing information on the Form 990s, filed with the IRS, to falsely account for AFF’s expenditures.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll concealed from AFF’s accountants the money she took from AFF, thereby causing the accountants to issue false IRS Forms W-2 (tax and wage statement) and Forms I 099 (non-salary compensation) and other required IRS forms which obstructed the IRS from knowing the accurate amount of the money she took from AFF.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll filed with the IRS false individual income ax returns, Forms 1040, which did not report all of her income due to her concealment of the money she took from AFF and diverted from AFF to her business, Frontline Defense.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll concealed and caused others to conceal related party transactions on Form 990s, by failing to report rent paid by AFF for use of its office space in the basement of 16 North Carolina A venue, SE, and other benefits such as payments from AFF for personal expenditures, including her automobile and personal cell phone.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll falsely reported and caused others to falsely report the amount of donations received by AFF on Form 990s, by inflating the amounts of donations, incorrectly listing the types of donations, and including donors who did not, in fact, donate to the AFF, among other means.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll caused to be sent false and fraudulent Form 990s to members of AFF’s Board of Directors and to the IRS.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll caused to be published Form 990s, containing false and fraudulent information, on the AFF website, knowing that the Form 990s would be available and viewed by charity watch groups, potential donors, and others.
- The defendant Patricia Driscoll caused to be provided false information to an IRS Revenue Agent during the course of an audit of AFF. The defendant Patricia Driscoll made and caused to be made fictitious entries into AFF’s QuickBooks falsifying the reason for AFF’s payments and altering amounts owed to her.
Driscoll was released on her own recognizance but must report weekly to the federal Pre-Trial Services Division and surrender her passport. She was also ordered to stay within 50-miles of Washington D.C. unless she get permission from pre-trial services and is forbidden to leave the country without an order form the court. She will also be drug tested.
“Everyone gets drug tested,” Judge Harvey told her after being told by Pre-Trial Services officer than they were unable to get a sample while she was in her holding cell.
Driscoll refused to comment following her release from custody and tried to hide behind her attorneys to keep her photo from being taken as she left the courthouse. When asked if she had anything to say to the families of the soldiers she allegedly stole money from through the misuse of the charity’s accounts, she scoffed loudly and looked away.
While Pollock walked on, another of Driscoll’s attorneys tried to assist her in keeping her photo from being take by holding up his brief case and shielding her from the camera. At one point his briefcase made contact with the camera but caused no damage. As for Driscoll, she had removed the glasses she wore in court and now let her hair flow freely taking it out of the bun, which allowed her hair to block her face in many of the photos taken of her.
Pollock said prior to the hearing that Driscoll looked forward to her day in court.
“Ms. Driscoll is sorry to see this matter progress to where criminal charges have been brought but looks forward to defending herself in court,” Pollock said.
Attorneys on both sides of the case agreed to a docket control hearing on Oct. 5, 2016.