A former employee of a McLean-based private-equity firm pleaded guilty to helping

her company illegally bundle donations to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Twenty-eight-year-old April G. Spittle, a former communications manager for Galen Capital Corp., pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions in the names of others, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of a year behind bars. As part of her plea, Spittle agreed to help Justice Department investigators in their three-year-plus probe into whether Galen Capital Corporation Chairman William Danielczyk illegally reimbursed other Clinton campaign contributors.

Danielczyk has not been charged in the investigation.

Spittle's attorney, Edward MacMahon, had no comment Monday except to point out that his client pleaded to a misdemeanor.

The practice of bundling is legal and is a key strategy for most major presidential candidates in recent presidential elections. Bundlers collect money from friends, colleagues and employees to present to the candidate.

But because there were no disclosure laws, the practice has the potential to be fraught with abuse. Another Clinton bundler, Norman Hsu, ended up in jail after the Wall Street Journal exposed how he used his neighbors' names to donate to Democratic candidates.


who bundled more than $115,000 for the 2008 Clinton cause, became a campaign issue himself during the presidential primaries that year. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2007 that the wife of a Galen employee said her contribution was reimbursed by her husband's boss. Federal law prohibited anyone from being reimbursed for campaign contributions because that would allow people to get around rules that limit donations to $4,600 a person.

The Justice Department said they were looking into the matter, and the Clinton campaign returned more than $100,000 in contributions raised by Danielczyk.

Danielczyk has denied paying for his friends' and employees' contributions, telling a Wall Street Journal reporter he "did not and would not" reimburse employees or others for their political contributions.

According to charging documents filed in Alexandria last week, Spittle allowed a contribution by her company to be made in her name and received a reimbursement herself. She also helped deliver the reimbursement checks to contributors, documents said.

Spittle admitted to authorities that after the Wall Street Journal began asking questions about the campaign contributions, she created two backdated letters to disguise the reimbursements.

The telephone number to Galen's McLean office is no longer in service.

Danielczyk is the executive chairman of Fairfax-based Innology Holdings Corporation, where the company's telephone directory lists Spittle as an employee. A company spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment Monday.