View a previous report from Householder and Borges’ conviction in the video player above.
CINCINNATI (WCMH) — The two former Republican bigwigs convicted of orchestrating a $60 million racketeering scheme will soon know their sanctions.
Former Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder and former state Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges will be sentenced at the end of June, according to court records. In March, a jury found the men guilty of taking a $60 million bribe from FirstEnergy in exchange for the passage of a nuclear power company bailout.
Both maintained their innocence throughout the proceedings, with Householder telling the media he viewed the trial as an opportunity for “redemption.”
During the seven-week trial, jurors heard from federal prosecutors how Householder, Borges and FirstEnergy executives conspired to ensure House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout bill, became law. Much of the quid pro quo scheming happened in Washington, D.C. in 2017, prosecutors alleged, showing hotel bookings for Householder and then-FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones made minutes apart by the same person.
As part of the plan, FirstEnergy donated $60 million to a 501(c)(4) “dark money” group called Generation Now that federal investigators concluded was controlled by Householder himself.
FBI agents testified at the trial that photo metadata placed Householder’s son and FirstEnergy executives in a limo together outside a steakhouse. Householder denied having been at that steakhouse, but phone records indicated he repeatedly called and texted FirstEnergy executives about moving the legislation through the statehouse.
The prosecution also highlighted texts, calls and emails pointing to Householder accepting bribes. In an October 2018 meeting, Householder received a $400,000 check from First Energy. Householder testified that the meeting lasted 10 minutes and that he looked in the envelope, only after being asked to, but did not take the check out.
The prosecution showed a text sent the same day Householder received the check, where he texted Jones: “$400k…thank you.”
Prior to Householder and Borges’ trial, two other Ohio political operatives — longtime adviser Jeffrey Longstreth and lobbyist Juan Cespedes — took plea deals in 2020 for their involvement in the case.
The duo will be sentenced on June 30, with Borges’ sentencing slated for 11 a.m. and Householder’s scheduled at 1 p.m. Sentencing documents and motions are due a week before sentencing.