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Timeline: Paul Erickson

Selected events from the life of Paul Erickson.

1961: Born in Los Angeles.

1979: Graduates from Vermillion High School.

May 1984: Receives a bachelor of arts degree from Yale with a major in economics and political science.

August 1984: Performs, at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, a “Fritzbusters” sketch that uses a “Ghostbusters” theme to lampoon Democratic presidential nominee Walter “Fritz” Mondale.

1988: Earns a law degree from the University of Virginia.

1989: Receives an executive producer credit on the anti-communist action film “Red Scorpion,” which is based on a story conceived by Jack Abramoff and stars Dolph Lundgren of “Rocky IV” fame.

1992: Works as national political director for the presidential campaign of Republican Pat Buchanan.

1993: Serves as a media adviser for John Wayne Bobbitt, whose penis was severed and surgically reattached.

1995: Discloses a $30,000 contract to lobby for Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko to be allowed into the United States. Mobutu’s visa request is denied because of concerns about the brutal and dictatorial nature of his regime.

1996-2018: Allegedly carries out schemes and artifices to defraud and obtain money by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, according to a later indictment.

2018: Erickson's Russian girlfriend, Maria Butina, is arrested and pleads guilty in Washington, D.C., to serving as an unregistered foreign agent.

2019: Erickson is arrested and charged with wire fraud and money laundering in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota.

Contact Seth Tupper at

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