La Jolla businessman pleads guilty to campaign scandal

Thursday, on eight occasions, Chase said “I did it.” La Jolla luxury car dealer Marc Chase walks out of federal court after pleading guilty to eight charges – charges of making campaign contributions on behalf of several other very wealthy men who were not U.S. citizens at the time. Under federal law, it is a crime for non-U.S. citizens to contribute to political elections. The mission of the men Chase took campaign contributions from was to use those monies to sway local elections to push their agenda. Including, a plan to get rid of former San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne. And a plan to turn the San Diego bay front into a west coast version of Miami, Florida. But because of the illegal machinations behind such a plan, call it a San Diego version of “Miami Vice”.
“My client Marc Chase plead guilty to several misdemeanor counts,” stated Chase's attorney Guadalupe Valencia. “This is something that been in discussion for a while and this is the beginning of the process of accepting responsibility. He made a mistake, he plead guilty, he is accepting responsibility and he hopes to move forward some day.”
That some day could be eight years away, as that is the prison time Chase faces. And the fact is, eight years behind bars would be a world away from the one he lives in today. Chase is the owner of Symbolic Motor Cars in La Jolla – a luxury dealership catering to the very wealthy – where the price tags for the Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces are often over $200,000. But the price tag from Chase's eight guilty pleas is a hefty one as well; he could end up paying $800,000 in fines in addition to the eight years he faces in prison.
“It's a sad day (Thursday). Mr. Chase, as everyone has read in the paper, has a long history in doing charity work. He, and his company Symbolic Motors, has raised millions and millions of dollars over the years for children and lots of other causes. He's hoping that this case doesn't tarnish that image and the good work that he's done for many years.”
Chase will not be sentenced until November 2014.
Categories: KUSI