Campaign aid sentenced for launching federal investigation aimed at discrediting congressional candidate
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Todd Bosnich, fired policy director for the failed Carl DeMaio congressional campaign, was sentenced Monday to five years of probation for sending anonymous emails to himself – making it appear that DeMaio threatened him – and then lying to the FBI about it.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns also ordered Bosnich to undergo psychiatric counseling, complete 240 hours of community service and a pay a $2,500 fine. In imposing the sentence, Judge Burns noted that DeMaio lost the election.
"There is no way of knowing how much [Bosnich’s conduct] effected voters’ minds," he said, emphasizing that this was not a victimless crime. "The victim is Mr. DeMaio, DeMaio’s campaign, or the democratic process."
Bosnich pleaded guilty in June, admitting that he instigated and impeded the FBI investigation. According to his plea agreement, after he was terminated from his job in May of 2014, a disgruntled Bosnich made sexual harassment accusations against DeMaio.
Among other things, he claimed that DeMaio offered him $50,000 in hush money to keep quiet about the harassment.
Bosnich also told a radio reporter during an interview on June 2, 2014 that he had received threatening emails from an anonymous source that he was "positive" were from DeMaio or someone closely associated with DeMaio.
According to his plea agreement, Bosnich admitted that three days later, on June 5, 2014, Bosnich set up a dummy yahoo email account, email@example.com, from his North County residence using bogus personal information including a false date of birth and gender.
According to his admissions, he then sent a "particularly ugly and threatening message" to his own personal email account. The email suggested that the "anonymous" author of the email would ensure that Bosnich never again worked in politics if he didn’t stop making accusations against DeMaio.
During multiple interviews with the FBI, Bosnich – supposedly the victim of threatening emails – continued to claim that he did not know who sent the emails, but he believed DeMaio was behind the anonymous threats. Based on these false claims, a grand jury issued subpoenas attempting to identify the source of the emails.
All the while, it was Bosnich himself who had sent the emails.
"The integrity of the American electoral process is the very bedrock of our democracy," said U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy. "Bosnich’s criminal act had the very real possibility of improperly tipping the scale towards a particular candidate. This was far from a harmless prank."
"Mr. Bosnich engaged in a pattern of lies and deceitful acts in an effort to obstruct FBI Agents from getting to the truth in this case," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum. "Today’s sentencing sends a clear message that the FBI will aggressively investigate and seek prosecution of those who attempt to obstruct justice by lying to the FBI."