Democratic Party fundraiser indicted for fraud, campaign finance violations

Democratic Party fundraiser indicted for fraud, campaign finance violations

[JURIST] Disgraced Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu [Wikipedia profile] was indicted [press release, PDF] Tuesday on 15 additional counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) [text] in connection with a massive alleged Ponzi scheme [SEC backgrounder]. Hsu also allegedly made illegal campaign contributions in other peoples' names in violation of the FECA. According to the indictment [text]:

In an effort to raise his public profile and thereby convince more victims to invest in his fraudulent scheme, Hsu pressured many of his victims to individually contribute thousands of dollars to various candidates for President of the United States, the United States Senate, and the United States House of Representatives whom Hsu supported. Hsu allegedly made direct and implied threats to these victims, leading them to believe that their failure to make the required political contributions would adversely impact their ongoing investment relationships with Hsu.

Each charge of fraud carries with it the possibility of a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, as well as large fines.

In September, New York prosecutors charged [JURIST report] Hsu with one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud and violating FECA in connection with the same scheme. The FBI arrested [press release] Hsu in Colorado on federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution after Hsu failed to appear for a bail hearing in California on unrelated fraud charges on September 5. Hsu formerly raised funds for political candidates, including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Clinton agreed [San Francisco Chronicle report] in September to return $850,000 she received from Hsu. AP has more.