Former N.J. Rep. Jim Courter (right), it seems.
Lucy Komisar reports that the Federal Communications Commission has fined Courter's New Jersey telecom company, IDT, $1.3 million for failing to file a contract for telephone service to Haiti in 2004.
Seems the man who's John McCain's biggest presidential campaign fundraiser in New Jersey found a novel way to conspire with a dictator and avoid paying due taxes at the same time.
Its work with Haiti has been put under scrutiny since a former employee, Michael Jewett, then IDT’s manager for the Caribbean, sued the company. His suit claims he was fired when he balked at negotiating a scheme that routed a portion of the company’s long distance revenue from Haiti calls to a shell company owned by then-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.So, this is the kind of economy a McCain administration would endorse? He who can better outsmart the tax system is rewarded, while a bigger portion of the burden falls on the shoulders of us common wage earners?
Jewett’s suit alleges that the deal cut IDT’s long-distance payments to Haiti to 8.75 cents a minute, from 23 cents, the legal tariff, which mainline U.S. carriers such as AT&T were paying.
Payments went to an offshore shell company, Mount Salem in the Turks & Caicos, which sent 3 cents to Aristide and the rest to the Haiti telecommunications company.
Courter, a former New Jersey Republican congressman, is one of 20 McCain national finance co-chairs, and joined the campaign in February 2007. He’s a “Trailblazer” for McCain, meaning he raised at least $100,000. The IDT PAC has contributed $84,850 in 2008.
Read Komisar's full report here.
(Getty picture cropped from Komisar's blog.)