LOMPOC, Calif. — After more than a year of delays, convicted political corrupter W. Patrick Moriarty on Monday began serving a seven-year federal prison sentence for mail fraud stemming from bribery of public officials, laundering political campaign funds and paying kickbacks to bankers.
He reported to Lompoc--a minimum-security prison in a coastal valley north of Santa Barbara--about noon. It is the same facility where Watergate conspirator H.R. Haldeman served time in the 1970s.
Moriarty, 54, was the eighth man to go to prison and one of 11 indicted as a result of the nearly three-year investigation centering on his dealings. He used prostitutes, money and other favors to corrupt political figures and bankers who could be helpful to his fireworks firm and other businesses.
Moriarty is the founder of Pyrotronics Inc., parent of the Red Devil fireworks company, once the nation's largest manufacturer of so-called "safe and sane" fireworks, which are sold by charities for the July 4 celebration.