[JURIST] Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons [official website] is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly failing to report gifts and payments given by a defense technology company that received secret military contracts while Gibbons was still a US congressman, an anonymous FBI source confirmed to the AP Thursday. The investigation is focusing on allegations that Gibbons' longtime friend, Warren Trepp, the owner of eTreppid Technologies [corporate website], may have exchanged gifts for lucrative contracts [Business Wire report]. Testimony in a civil suit between one of Trepp's former employees against him claimed that in exchange for assisting the company in obtaining the contracts, Trepp gave Gibbons a large sum of cash and casino-chips while on a well-documented Caribbean cruise [WSJ report] last year. E-mail messages between Trepp and his wife also allude to secretive payments to Gibbons. Both Trepp and Gibbons deny the allegations.
Trepp's various businesses and holdings gave Gibbons approximately a combined $100,000 during his campaign for governor, most of which came on the same day and have the same mailing address listed. While Nevada law prohibits individual and corporate donations of more than $10,000 to a candidate in a single election cycle, Gibbons and Trepp both assert that the donations were legal because the individual gifts of the maximum amount came through different corporate entities. AP has more.