Harvey Whittemore ordered to surrender to federal prison authorities

Former power broker Harvey Whittemore was ordered Thursday to surrender to federal prison authorities on Aug. 6.

Senior U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in a six-page decision granted the request of federal prosecutors to reverse his order allowing Whittemore to remain free while he appeals his conviction for breaking campaign laws.

Whittemore was convicted last year of unlawfully funneling more than $133,000 in contributions to the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Hicks later sentenced Whittemore to two years in prison.

In his ruling Thursday, Hicks said prosecutors had met their burden for the reconsideration and that there was no longer any reason to allow Whittemore to remain free.

“There are no new issues raised in his appeal that would constitute a substantial question likely to result in either a reversal or an order for a new trial,” Hicks wrote.

Whittemore’s lawyers had earlier persuaded Hicks to keep him out of prison on appeal on grounds the U.S. Supreme Court was considering a case that might undermine the validity of his convictions. But the high court’s eventual ruling this year did not have that kind of impact on Whittemore’s case.

Whittemore, 61, an attorney and onetime influential lobbyist, was convicted by a federal jury in Reno last year of giving money to 29 family members and employees of his former company, Wingfield Nevada Group, and then using them as “conduits” for contributions to Reid’s 2007 re-election committee in a scheme to skirt federal campaign laws.

Reid, a longtime Whittemore friend, was not accused of wrongdoing in the case.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.