Friend of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan sentenced for illegal fundraising, avoids prison time
For 20 years, Tampa home builder Timothy Mobley and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan have been friends. They vacation together, bicycle together and at times have done business together.
Now that friendship has exacted a heavy toll, though not as heavy as federal prosecutors wanted. A federal judge in Jacksonville last week sentenced Mobley to three years’ probation and fined him $200,000 for making illegal contributions to Buchanan’s campaigns and the Republican Party of Florida.
It was the stiffest penalty so far to result from the numerous investigations into fundraising activities on behalf of Buchanan, a millionaire Sarasota car dealer.