Guilty Patricia Driscoll Gets Two Year Probation Sentence, 240 Hours Community Service, $75 fee

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

WASHINGTON D.C. – Hiding her face with a sweater, Patricia Pauline Driscoll bolted from the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse and jumped into a waiting Nissan Sentra being driven by her husband after receiving a two-year probation sentence, 240 hours of community service and a $75 special assessment ($25 for each charge against her).

Driscoll had previously pleaded guilty in August 2023 to three separate federal charges and has now received her punishment.


Once a Washington D.C. socialite, Driscoll ran a now-shuttered defense company and the now-defunct Armed Forces Foundation charity that she funded through her political connections and ties to NASCAR. She once dated NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch and falsely accused him of domestic violence after he ended their relationship. Uninvited, she entered his motorcoach using his private code because hers had been deleted during a race weekend at Dover Motor Speedway and claimed that he assaulted her. It was a claim she had made against others in the past. Delaware prosecutors dismissed the charges against Busch due to a lack of evidence.

Patricia driscoll arrives at federal court in washington d. C. In 2019. Photo by jerry jordan/kickin' the tires
Patricia Driscoll (file photo)

The uproar put a spotlight on Driscoll and how she ran the foundation and her defense company, using them as a personal source of income for lavish expenditures. Sworn statements from a whistleblower to authorities and coverage by Kickin’ the Tires based on source information, civil court records and publicly available financial filings, or the lack thereof, led to a federal investigation, criminal charges, an indictment, a trial and an eventual guilty verdict on two counts of wire fraud, two counts of tax evasion and a single count of fraud by a jury on November 29, 2018.

CLICK HERE for Driscoll’s Criminal Indictment

However, that conviction was overturned on a technicality on January 5, 2021. Driscoll appealed on two separate causes, a Brady claim against an IRS agent, who didn’t identify himself when he sat in on a public hearing involving Driscoll’s child custody case and a Thomas Charge, where she claimed the judge in her case gave an improper instruction to the jury. The Brady claim was denied on appeal but the second cause was upheld and threw the entire case out.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit did not find that Driscoll was innocent of the crimes she was originally convicted of; it ruled that a directive by U.S. Judge Richard J. Leon to the jurors in the case likely prejudiced them to reach a unanimous verdict of guilty. The U.S. Court of Appeals found that the Thomas Charge was given to jurors by the judge improperly and, therefore, may have affected a juror’s decision on guilt or innocence.

CLICK HERE for the jury’s verdict form

CLICK HERE for then-verdict press release from U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Columbia

A Thomas Charge is similar to an Allen Charge in that it is used as an attempt to get jurors to reach a unanimous verdict one way or the other to avoid a deadlock and mistrial. Neither an Allen nor Thomas charge can force a juror to change their mind; however, a Thomas Charge also deals with the removal of a juror and not just encouragement to reach a verdict.

In 1997, in the case of United States v. Thomas, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled, “that a juror could not be removed from a jury on the ground that the juror was acting in purposeful disregard of the court’s instructions on the law, when the record evidence raises a possibility that the juror was simply unpersuaded by the Government’s case against the defendants.”

In making its ruling, the Court of Appeals wrote, “In United States v. Thomas, this Court sought to prevent undue coercion on jurors by exercising its supervisory authority to mandate the use of standardized language in the anti-deadlock instruction given in this Circuit. See 449 F.2d 1177, 1184–86 (D.C. Cir. 1971) (en banc). We explained that “appellate courts should no longer be burdened with the necessities and niceties—and the concomitant uncertainties— of gauging various Allen-type renditions in terms of the coerciveness of their impact.” Id. at 1186. In the years since Thomas, we have repeatedly cautioned district courts against “expanding on the Thomas script after a jury indicates deadlock.” United States v. Lloyd, 515 F.3d 1297, 1305 (D.C. Cir. 2008); Yarborough, 400 F.3d at 21 (“Any substantial departure from the language approved in Thomas is presumptively coercive.” (internal quotation marks omitted)); United States v. Berroa, 46 F.3d 1195, 1197 (D.C. Cir. 1995) (“We therefore flatly refuse the district court’s invitation to crack open the Pandora’s box Thomas nailed shut.

CLICK HERE for U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling

Judge Leon told the jurors, ‘I hope, and I hope time will show, that whichever juror this is, that he or she will embrace the spirit and the language that I read yesterday and will come around to keeping an open mind.”

The Court of Appeals judges felt Judge Leon went too far in his statement to the jurors and deviated from the approved script that must be used when jurors are deadlocked.

“We conclude that the instructions likely coerced a unanimous verdict against Driscoll. While no single instruction alone may have constituted error, ‘on balance, the events surrounding the court’s delivery of the nonstandard instruction[s] suggest a substantial propensity for coercive effect,’” stated the Court of Appeals ruling.

The criminal charges against Driscoll were filed in 2016 and dealt with acts that occurred from 2010 to 2015. The trial process, her appeal, the COVID-19 pandemic and other delays led to the case dragging out for eight years.

Driscoll pleaded guilty on August 2, 2023, to a three-count superseding information on charges of failing to keep adequate financial records, which was offered by the U.S. Department of Justice after the case had continued for nearly a decade.

CLICK HERE for Federal Information of Charges

The charges stemmed from Driscoll “willfully” failing to keep proper financial records for funds she used for personal gain from the Armed Forces Foundation and her privately-owned company, Frontline Defense Systems. Although credit card records indicated numerous charges where funds were used for her benefit, prosecutors narrowly used three of those instances, totaling $5,874.


Dressed in a knee-length steel blue button-up dress, Driscoll sat at the defense table in Courtroom 18 blowing kisses to her husband, waiving to a supporter in the audience and cracking jokes with a representative from the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services. She wore a double-strand pearl bracelet with a matching pearl necklace and a wedding ring. She read over a written statement that had several paragraphs marked through and spoke with her two attorneys sitting next to her – Brian Stolarz and William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr.

Stolarz has been with Driscoll from the beginning and is known for his doggedness in defending his clients. Driscoll is nowhere near his highest-profile case, as he was featured in the Netflix series The Innocence Files for his work in getting Texas death row inmate Dewayne Brown exonerated after nearly a decade.

Patricia driscoll is represented by attorney brian stolarz.

Set on the docket for 4 p.m., the sentencing hearing was late getting underway and at 4:13 p.m. Driscoll pulled out a wad of tissues from her purse. She sat them on the table and began looking for her cell phone. Nine minutes later, at 4:22 p.m., there was a double knock to alert those in the courtroom that Judge Leon was entering. Using a cane to steady himself, he made his way to the bench and the proceedings began.

First up was Kathryn Rakoczy, lead prosecutor on the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. She said, “I am here today to ask for a probationary sentence. I think it is appropriate under the circumstances.”
Rakoczy went on to point out that Driscoll pleaded guilty and “utilized funds of the charity for personal purposes.”

She said Driscoll repeatedly used funds from the charity and funds from the business and “that conduct is unacceptable.”

Rakoczy said the Department of Justice was “mindful” of the time it has taken for the case to work its way to a conclusion through the court system in making the probation recommendation.

Had Driscoll served the original punishment from the jury trial, she would already be out of prison and living her life. Likewise, had she taken an original plea offer from prosecutors on September 21, 2016, the day after she was indicted, she would also be free and clear of the case. That plea offer expired on November 4, 2016. She will now spend the next 24 months on federal probation and is required to notify the probation department 14 days in advance of any travel plans.

When Rakoczy finished her presentation to the judge, Stolarz went to the dais and briefly spoke to Judge Leon, saying, “It was an honor to be in your courtroom and to try the case with you. I am still annoyed about the IRS agent but bygones are bygones.”

Stolarz said Driscoll’s husband, John Eric Morris, who is an assistant chief with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, wanted to address the court but the judge said there was no need as it was clear he’d accepted Rakoczy’s probation recommendation.

Stolarz stayed at the front as Driscoll rose from her chair and walked forward. Clutching the tissues in her hand from earlier, she immediately burst into tears, giving an almost inaudible speech about how this case against her has cost her so much in her life.

“This is the hardest thing for me to do,” Driscoll said. “It caused me to fail with the foundation and I loved it so much. I love this country so much. I believe in the law and I made a mistake. I like to help people like Cheryl (sp?) back there.”

Driscoll mentioned negative media coverage she had received as the case played out in the court system and then thanked Judge Leon for listening to her – for the first time uttering publicly in the courtroom, “I’m sorry.”

Judge Leon responded with a comment about how he believed the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the case was “like a jihad,” and then he told Driscoll, “It’s been a long journey and nobody knows that more than you. I wish you well. I am confident that you will do well. I wish you well in getting your life back and moving on.”

As the sentencing hearing came to a close, there was no immediate statement from prosecutors about the case or Judge Leon’s comments. A written request seeking comment was sent via email to Rakoczy.

Driscoll’s attorney, Billy Murphy, who is licensed in Maryland and was granted permission to sit in on some of the hearings, reiterated the judge’s statement when asked for comment on the case and it coming to a close.

“The judge characterized this prosecution as a jihad and we are thrilled that it had a happy ending,” Murphy told Kickin’ the Tires.

There is currently no mention of the 240 hours of community service written into the court’s minute entry online but Murphy confirmed the number during his conversation with Kickin’ the Tires.

“Yes, 10 hours a month,” he said.

Click For Additional Coverage of Patricia Driscoll by Kickin’ the Tires

5 thoughts on “Guilty Patricia Driscoll Gets Two Year Probation Sentence, 240 Hours Community Service, $75 fee

  1. I would like to know if the IRS is done with her. That money she appropriated was unreported income. I’ve had clients put through misery for far less and for sincere paperwork mistakes.

  2. Patricia Driscoll’s character cannot be summed up as wretched; rather, she embodies goodness and compassion, particularly in her dedication to supporting our military personnel. Her contributions have been invaluable, extending beyond mere words to tangible actions.

    Driscoll’s endeavors have included providing crucial assistance to wounded soldiers, sailors, and airmen during their stays at Walter Reed hospital. She recognized the gaps left by government support and stepped in to cover expenses like accommodation for their families and even flight costs. Moreover, her foundation extended its aid to the bereaved, ensuring fallen veterans were flown to their final resting places with dignity.

    While acknowledging her missteps, it’s essential to underscore Driscoll’s ongoing commitment. Despite past errors, she remains steadfast in her support for military men and women. Furthermore, her efforts extend to innovative ventures aimed at enhancing the capabilities of our warfighters and border patrol agents. In essence, Driscoll’s narrative is one of redemption and unwavering dedication to the well-being of those who serve our nation.

    1. EDITOR’S NOTE: After being found guilty of more egregious crimes, Patricia Driscoll’s conviction was overturned on a technicality. Rather than continue to proclaim her innocence and knowing she had top-notch defense attorney Brian Stolarz in her corner, Ms. Driscoll chose to plead guilty in U.S. Federal Court, publicly admitting to committing federal crimes involving money and reporting issues related to the private business she operated and the charity she headed up. She was sentenced to 24 months of federal probation and 240 hours of community service, along with a $75 administrative fee.

  3. Regardless of the outcome of this particular trial and the charges against her, this woman is wicked. Sure, she’s probably done a lot of good for vets but that doesn’t excuse the false accusations of domestic violence leveled against a NASCAR driver who was unjustly punished for those accusations. Also, she never paid the price for making those defamatory statements or restitution they caused either.

    So, may karma deliver the justice that she is still due and may it be fitting as it usually is.

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