A jury found Patricia Driscoll, ex-girlfriend of Kurt Busch, guilty on five counts of fraud, tax evasion and theft charges Friday in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.
Driscoll, former executive director and president of the Armed Forces Foundation, was found guilty of two counts of wire fraud (federal offenses), two counts of tax evasion (federal offenses) and one count of first-degree fraud (a District of Columbia offense).
The wire fraud charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. Tax evasion carries a statutory maximum of five years. First-degree fraud carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison.
A jury made its decision after four days of deliberations.
Sentencing is scheduled for mid-March 2019.
Driscoll’s attorney, Brian Stolarz, stated to NBC Sports: “The jury did not get it right – Patricia Driscoll is innocent. We are very disappointed by the verdict and the government’s misconduct in this case. We will appeal. This is not the final chapter to this story.”
The wire fraud charges stem from a May 2015 indictment in the joint IRS-FBI investigation that she used forged documents, false accounting entries and inflated donation amounts “in order to convince donors to give money to the (Armed Forces Foundation), thereby enriching herself.”
The tax evasion counts stem from the May 2015 indictment that she diverted funds from the Armed Forces Foundation to her personal bank account, diverted funds from the AFF to her business, used AFF money to pay personal bills and bills for her business. The tax evasion charges are for tax years 2012 and 2013.
The fraud charge in the May 2015 indictment stated she purported to approve “an additional $3,000 per month payment to herself, to pay for such items as her car, gas, cell phone.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia stated Friday that “she failed to include the fact that she received commissions from fundraising, the amounts of commissions that she received from fundraising, and the other benefits that she received. Driscoll also falsely categorized and caused others to falsely categorize expenses in the Armed Forces Foundation’s books and records as being for the benefit of the veterans, troops, and their families, when, in fact, they were for her own private benefit. Driscoll also concealed from the foundation’s accountants the money she took from the charity, such as rent that was paid for the use of office space in a building that she co-owned.
The Armed Forces Foundation shut down in 2016.
The case went to trial in October.
Driscoll and Busch broke up in 2014. She alleged afterward that he slammed her head against the wall in his motor home three times in September 2014 at Dover International Speedway.
NASCAR indefinitely suspended Busch on Feb. 20, 2015 — two days before the Daytona 500 — after a Kent County (Delaware) Family Court Commissioner concluded that “it is more likely than not” Busch committed an act of domestic abuse against Driscoll at Dover. NASCAR reinstated Busch a few days after the Delaware attorney general declined to seek charges against Busch in March. Busch missed three races while suspended.