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Former Sen. Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison for misusing campaign money

Former State Senator and Senate Democratic Leader Kelvin Atkinson
Posted at 12:57 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 15:57:24-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Former Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson was sentenced today to more than two years in federal prison for misusing at least $249,900 of campaign donor money on personal expenses including opening a Las Vegas nightclub, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI Las Vegas Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ismael Nevarez Jr. for the IRS Criminal Investigation.

According to court documents, from at least January 2010 to about December 2017, Atkinson, 49, admitted that he devised a scheme to mislead donors contributing to his campaign by falsely representing to them that he would use donations for lawful campaign purposes.

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In reality, he misused contributions in his campaign account for personal expenses. Atkinson admitted that he used nearly $250,000 from his campaign bank account for personal expenses instead of legitimate campaign purposes. His personal spending of campaign funds included approximately $100,000 in payments to his personal credit cards, $75,000 towards opening and operating a Las Vegas nightclub, and $20,000 on leasing a Jaguar Sports Utility Vehicle, among many other personal expenditures.

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Schiess prosecuted the case.