Fairfield alum Michael Sohn ‘98, the campaign manager for former Rep. Christopher Shays, was arrested and charged last Friday with a dozen counts of alleged embezzlement and fraud, according to a Dec. 5 Connecticut Post article.

Sohn is accused of taking funds from the Shays Campaign Committee during his employment between 2005 and 2008. He is suspected of “making unauthorized ATM withdrawals  and writing checks to himself from campaign bank accounts,” the article said, and later spending the funds on personal expenditures.

The federal government’s announcement of Sohn’s Dec. 2 indictment was posted on the Connecticut Post Web site, providing additional details of his charges and subsequent arrest. Sohn allegedly embezzled campaign funds from his former employer Shays, “causing the filing of false campaign reports” and federal tax offenses, the announcement says. Over the course of four years, Sohn “is alleged to have embezzled money … totaling approximately $252,424,” the announcement stated.

Additionally, the announcement details that Sohn is charged with tax fraud because of his alleged failure “to file a federal income tax return in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and evading the payment of taxes in 2008” because his filings did not reflect his true monetary holdings.

The Connecticut Post quoted U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly Fitzsimmons as saying, “Clearly, these are serious charges,” a statement that only begins to address the possible repercussions against Sohn. If he is found guilty of the charges, Sohn could face a prison sentence of 28 years and a fine of more than $1.5 million.

After being taken into custody from his home in Fairfield, he sat through a trial with representation by an appointed public defendant.

He was later released on bail, though his passport has been revoked and a curfew has been imposed upon him. This component of the trial was not controversial despite the prominence of the case. As prosecutor Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed said to the Post, “If there was a desire to flee, he could have easily done so before today.”

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. Jury selection for Sohn’s trial is set to begin on Feb. 9.

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