PARSIPPANY — NJ Insider reporter Fred Snowflack published an article about a mystery payment by the Dinsmore campaign to a “consultant” based in Wyoming. As reported by Mr. Snowflack, the address given for the “consultant” is a mail forwarding business.
Dinsmore sent a $42,000.00 payment to an entity named “Checkmate Strategies” for consulting services. The funds in question were listed as a loan from Dinsmore to the campaign on February 4, 2019. The same day the report lists a check for $42,000.00 to Checkmate Strategies located in Wyoming. There is no indication what services the payment was used for, only a reference to “consultant”. (Click here to view ELEC report)
A review of the Wyoming Secretary of State corporate filings reveals that there is no company registered under the name Checkmate Strategies at the address. In fact, there is no business registered in Wyoming at all under the name Checkmate Strategies.
This would appear to be a violation of the NJ ELEC filing guidelines. The ELEC instructions for filing state:
“Enter the payment date, the check number, the name and address of the payee, and the purpose of the disbursement. When describing the “purpose” of the expenditure, the specific election-related reason for the expenditure must be provided, such as “newspaper advertising,” “postage,” “printing of campaign – 5 – R-1 Instructions Revised: 03/03/2017 fliers,” etc. Unsatisfactory descriptions of “purpose” would be “campaign expense,” “reimbursement,” or “operations” (NJ ELEC R-1 Forms and Instructions, Page 4-5).
Freeholders Doug Cabana, Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFillippo called for an immediate investigation by ELEC of Donald Dinsmore’s deceptive April 15, 2019 report.
“ELEC reporting is intended to allow the public to see the sources of candidate funding and the places candidates are spending those funds. ELEC should immediately investigate Dinsmore’s payment to a shadow company from Wyoming” stated Doug Cabana.
When contacted by Snowflack, the Dinsmore campaign would not provide any additional information about the expense.
What is Dinsmore hiding? Why is Dinsmore concealing the true recipient of these funds and their actual purpose? NJ ELEC should demand these answers immediately.
Editors Note: There is a similar company Checkmate Action Group, LLC., at the listed address in Wyoming, and was formed on January 28, 2019, just 6 days before the $42,000 check was issued. (click here for official documentation). The address listed in Wyoming is also the address of a mail forwarding service, and a corporate registration service. Checkmate Action Group isn’t listed in a Google search, and there is no website for the company. There is a New Jersey political consulting firm named Checkmate Strategies located in Jackson. Checkmate Strategies was co-founded by Chris Russell and won numerous awards for its work. On a subsequent ELEC filing report by Dinsmore, Felegi and Winterfield for Freeholder dated May 6, 2019, an additional $13,461.94 was sent to Checkmate Action Group, LLC at the Wyoming address for “Campaign Consulting.” Checkmateactiongroup.com was purchased on January 25, 2019, with a private registration, to hide ownership, and no website was ever built. Checkmate Action Group is not listed with the Better Business Bureau.