Florida Democrats have sent a Freedom of Information Act request Tuesday for copies of emails by Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast.
The Florida Democratic Party is seeking access to all emails Mast gave the Federal Trade Commission related to a $5,000 campaign donation received from World Patent Marketing’s founder Scott Cooper and Mast’s subsequent appointment to the company’s board in February 2016.
Miami-based World Patent Marketing is under federal investigation for allegedly defrauding investors in a patent scam that bilked more than $10 million from consumers.
“Despite being named as a member of World Patent Marketing’s board, featured in World Patent Marketing’s promotional materials, and appearing in multiple photographs with World Patent Marketing’s embattled founder, Mast has denied knowledge of or involvement with World Patent Marketing,” according to the Florida Democratic Party news release.
“Congressman Mast’s voters deserve to know if he is telling them the truth about his involvement in a company under investigation for fraud on a massive level,” said FDP spokesperson Johanna Cervone. “If Congressman Mast is, in fact, innocent, he could have shown that from the start by releasing his emails. He has chosen not to and as a result, his voters are left guessing about whether he is putting them or his own best interest first.”
Mast was elected to his first term November to represent Florida’s 18th Congressional District, which includes the northern portion of Palm Beach through Martin and St. Lucie counties.
Brad Stewart, Mast’s communications director, responded to the request by saying the Palm City Republican “offered his full support and transparency” to the FTC in their case against Cooper and is “working with them to ensure that there is justice for anybody who was defrauded by World Patent Marketing.”
“As he has said from the beginning, Congressman Mast has no knowledge of the inner-workings of the company and never conducted any business on their behalf,” Stewart added. “He has volunteered the very limited communication he had in the course of his campaign with Scott Cooper to the FTC in hopes that it may help shed light on any wrongdoing.”