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NRCC Releases Audit

Outside lawyers for the National Republican Congressional Committee confirmed Thursday that a former employee allegedly stole an estimated $725,000 from the campaign committee between 2001 and 2007.

This announcement is the culmination of an exhaustive forensic audit of the NRCC's records after staff discovered Christopher J. Ward, a former treasurer, had forged the audit from 2006.

"While these findings reflect the best information currently available to us, they are based on limited information," lawyers from Covington & Burling acknowledged in the report. "It is possible that additional losses could be identified, or other irregularities identified, as the NRCC's in-house accounting staff...continues to reconcile [its] books and bank statements for prior years."

A lack of paperwork made it difficult for the auditors to explore millions the committee spent on independent expenditures on the campaign trail during the last election cycle or dig much deeper than 2001. But the lawyers did conclude that "it does not appear anyone other than Ward knowingly participated in this scheme."

The lawyers from Covington & Burling, along with a team of auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers, interviewed more than two dozen current and former NRCC employees, officers and outside consultants. The team also reviewed 49 bank accounts for the committee and for various President's Dinners between 2001 and 2007.

However, the team did not interview Ward himself about these transactions.
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