North Carolina Voting Rights Groups say man tied to a Georgia company tried to create chaos in election

Groups in North Carolina say a man with ties to a Georgia company tried to infiltrate their nonprofit organizations to create chaos during the upcoming election.

And, that Georgia company was set up by a member of the Georgia Ethics Commission.

 It all started when a man showed up in Raleigh claiming he needed help registering to vote, said Common Cause director Bob Phillips. 

"It was a young man posed as a New York City businessman coming into the Raleigh Durham NC region," said Phillips.

Phillips said the man, who called himself James Fortune, claimed he was from New York and was opening a new gym in North Carolina and wanted to get involved in voting rights issues.

Phillips said James Fortune sent a wire transfer donation to Common Cause and two other voting rights organizations. 

"We got $1,000. Another one of our organizations got $4,500. And another organization got $3,000, said Phillips.

Phillips and others told us the organizations became convinced James Fortune was trying to infiltrate their nonprofits with an eye toward undermining their non-partisan voting efforts and creating chaos in the election.

Everyone got suspicious.

"This guy was part of a goal to cast doubt on the integrity of the election in North Carolina. Create chaos., Phillips said.

So, Phillips and others began taking a closer look at the source of the money James Fortune gave the voting rights groups.

It turns out Secretary of State records show the company in question - Blue Sky Med Labs - is right here in Roswell Georgia.

The company is brand new, it was formed in June of this year.  According to Secretary of State records the organizer was Jason Boles.  He is the business partner of a man well known in Georgia political circles, state ethics commissioner, Rick Thompson.

"What are you all doing in Atlanta, Georgia trying to tamper with our elections in North Carolina. Butt out," said Phillips.

Rick Thompson, a former Ethics commission staffer, is now a member of the ethics board. He has a consulting company that sets up companies for political clients.  He told me one of his clients was Blue Sky Med Labs.

"I have no idea who the individual (James Fortune) is.  I've never met him. I have no idea what he was doing," said Thompson.

Due to confidentiality agreements, Thompson wouldn't identify who Blue Sky Med Labs was but did tell me their lawyer was Stefan Passantino. Passantino is former deputy White House Counsel under President Donald Trump. He is out of the country and couldn't be reached for comment.

The Chairman of the State Ethics Commission, Jake Evans, issued a statement saying the Commission holds itself to the highest standards of excellence and ethics. The statement said any credible allegation about anyone on staff or the board is taken seriously and will be promptly investigated.

We tried to call the cell phone number James Fortune used, but got a recording and no return call.

Statement from Jason Boles:  R. Thompson and Associates RTA STRATEGY

"I am reaching out as the Organizer and Manager of Blue Sky Med Labs, as reported and as shown on public file records.

"A number of erroneous allegations and associations are being made. First, Stefan Passantino is not our attorney and never has been. While I have other business dealings with Mr. Passantino, this is not one of them and any assertion there is an association is not factual. Second, Rick Thompson is my business partner in a number of companies but he is not involved in operations for Blue Sky Med Labs.

"Through businesses and partnerships, specifically RTA Strategy, I work with a number of candidates, PACs, not for profits, corporations and high net worth individuals, often through and/or in conjunction with law firms, to provide regulatory reporting, regulatory registration, financial administration and political strategy based on conventional wisdom and our subject matter expertise. Our work spans all 50 US states and Canada. Our engagements involve local, state and federal levels of government. Adhering to best practices, since 2009 we have operated with a level of integrity that ensures our work product is beyond reproach.

"I have no further comments concerning this matter."

*Publisher's note: This statement was provided to FOX 5 following the airing of this report.