Patricia Driscoll, Kurt Busch‘s former girlfriend and Armed Forces Foundation executive director, was found guilty of fraud and tax evasion Thursday by a federal jury, according to a Department of Justice spokesman.
After four days of jury deliberation that followed five weeks of testimony in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Driscoll was found guilty on two counts of wire fraud, one count of first-degree fraud and two counts of tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors, according to the indictment, alleged Driscoll lied to donors by stating that 94 to 96 percent of all donations went to military members and their families; that she falsely directed the foundation’s books to characterize that that money went to veterans and their families when they went to her; and that she filed false tax returns that did not include commissions from fundraising and other benefits she received in addition to her salary.
The joint FBI-IRS investigation began in 2015 after ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported on questionable practices by Driscoll during her 12-year run as executive director of the foundation, which had ties to sports-related entities, including NASCAR and Busch. The foundation has since shut down.
In the days following their 2014 breakup, Driscoll accused Busch of physically assaulting her. Driscoll testified in court that Busch smashed her head into a bedroom wall and choked her in his motorhome at Dover (Delaware) International Speedway. Busch claimed Driscoll entered his motor home uninvited — they had broken up a week earlier — and he cupped her face with his hands while repeatedly asking her to leave.
Law enforcement officials determined there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Busch.
A family court commissioner granted her request for a protective order, which resulted in NASCAR suspending Busch two days before the 2015 Daytona 500. He sat out the first three races of the 2015 season before being reinstated.