A well-known GOP fundraiser pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of posession of child pornography.
Michael Centanni, 48, was arrested October 30, 2014 following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations. Court documents said federal officers were led to Centanni through “child porn sharing” files traced to his home computer.
During a search of Centanni’s residence, police seized hard drives and other electronic media. A subsequent examination identified more than 3,000 images and 267 videos depicting child pornography.
According to court documents, officers also found a hidden camera inside his D.C. home with a clear view of the shower.
Centanni worked as a Chief Operating Officer with Base Connect, a company that specializes with conservative, direct-mail fundraising, housed just a few blocks from the White House.
Base Connect has raised millions in campaign funds for conservative political organizations and candidates in U.S. Senate and House races around the country. Records indicate the company has also co-sponsored the prestigious Conservative Political Action Committee Convention, or CPAC.
“We are shocked and dismayed at the recent allegations concerning Michael Centanni … a minority partner at Base Connect,” the firm’s CEO Kimberly Bellissimo told News4. “Effective immediately, [he’s] suspended from any and all duties involving Base Connect’s day-to-day operations.”
Centanni will be sentenced on April 9. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Centanni will also be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 15 years.