In a recently filed court document, a one-time business partner of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, requests that the Federal Election Commission add Buchanan to a case that was initially filed against him and the duo’s former car dealership, Hyundai of North Jacksonville.
The FEC initially filed suit against Buchanan’s former business partner, Sam Kazran, and the Hyundai dealership in December — alleging that nearly $68,000 of donations to Buchanan’s 2006 and 2008 campaigns had been reimbursed with dealership funds. In a court filing, the FEC said the reimbursements were part of an “extensive and ongoing scheme” to funnel “secret, illegal contributions” to the campaigns.
Kazran and the dealership were eventually fined nearly $68,000 for using the funds to reimburse employees for their donations, but Kazran has long alleged that Buchanan (who was a majority stakeholder in the company at the time) ordered the violations. In fact, he gave a lengthy deposition to the FEC with specific claims and voicemails from Buchanan himself. In August, two former Buchanan employees backed Kazran’s story — claiming they had been reimbursed for their donations, which they were initially pressured into making.
Kazran has since been attacked by Buchanan’s spokespeople, and says he wants to clear his name.
In his new document, Kazran requests that the court reconsider a motion that sought to name Buchanan and Vern Buchanan for Congress as the proper parties in the action.
Kazran’s motion also alleges that the FEC is ignoring key facts about the case — specifically, Buchanan’s involvement. “[Kazran] alleges under oath, and is able to demonstrate that, FEC has either overlooked, or ignored material facts that deserve significant weight,” he writes.