Sen. Jerry Moran’s campaign says ‘cyber-criminal’ stole nearly $700K

A cybercriminal made off with more than half a million dollars in funds from Sen. Jerry Moran’s campaign, according to the lawmaker’s treasurer. 

The alleged theft occurred last year, when a “third-party cyber-criminal” made two wire transfers out of the Kansas Republican’s campaign account totalling $690,000, according to Moran campaign treasurer Timothy Gottschalk, who reported the incident to the Federal Election Commission in a letter last month. 

“Cybercriminals targeted the accounting firm employed by Moran For Kansas and money was wired to fraudulent bank accounts,” Tom Brandt, a spokesman for Moran’s campaign, told the Kansas City Star in a statement. “As soon as a discrepancy was realized, it was reported to law enforcement.”

The first wire transfer for $345,000 occurred on October 25, 2022, two weeks before the midterm elections, and the second fraudulent transfer went out on November 9, 2022, the day after Election Day, and another $345,000 was stolen, according to the Moran campaign treasurer. 

Two wire transfers totaling $690 thousand, were taken out of a "Moran For Kansas" account in October 2022.
Two wire transfers totaling $690,000 were taken out of a “Moran For Kansas” account in October 2022.
Getty Images/EyeEm

The campaign says it was notified by its bank on Nov. 14, 2022, of potentially fraudulent activity and reported the incident to local authorities two days later. 

The campaign informed the FEC in the December letter that $168,184 of the pilfered funds had been recovered.

The FBI is investigating the case. 

“We are currently pursuing all avenues available to recover the money and there is an ongoing investigation with the FBI,” Brandt said. “The campaign also consulted with the FEC on how to transparently report the unauthorized expenditures.”

Moran, first elected to the Senate in 2010, was reelected to a third term last year.

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