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Indicted Hillary Fundraiser Fled US In March

Here is an article from last March by the same duo of reporters who broke the story that Norman Hsu is on the lam.

The Los Angeles Times seems to have purged the piece from its site. So this comes courtesy of the packrats at Rantburg:

Mr. Sadiq, Senator Hillary Clinton and Mr. Rehman Jinnah

Clinton donor wanted by FBI in scheme to funnel money

Robin Fields and Chuck Neubauer,

Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2007

A Pakistani immigrant who hosted fundraisers in Southern California for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is being sought by the FBI on charges that he funneled illegal contributions to Clinton’s political action committee and Sen. Barbara Boxer’s 2004 reelection campaign. Authorities say Northridge businessman Abdul Rehman Jinnah, 56, fled the country after an indictment accused him of engineering more than $50,000 in illegal donations to the Democratic committees. A business associate charged as a co-conspirator has entered a guilty plea and is scheduled to be sentenced in Los Angeles next week…

The case has transformed Jinnah from a political point man on Pakistani issues, a man often photographed next to foreign dignitaries and U.S. leaders, into a fugitive with his mug shot on the FBI’s "featured fugitives" wanted list. Jinnah’s profile peaked in 2004 and 2005 as he wooed members of Congress to join a caucus advancing Pakistani concerns and brought Clinton to speak to prominent Pakistani Americans, lauding their homeland’s contributions to the war on terrorism and calling relations with Pakistan beneficial to U.S. interests.

Jinnah and his family donated more than $100,000 to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates. Now friends say they believe Jinnah has returned to Pakistan. Attempts to reach him and his relatives were unsuccessful. A "For Sale" sign stood in his yard on Thursday, and a neighbor said the family had not lived there for months.

Jinnah’s troubles appear to have begun when he attempted to circumvent election laws by reimbursing friends, business contacts and their family members for contributions made in their names, according to court records. Federal statutes set limits on contributions to federal campaigns and political action committees and bar donations made in the names of others. Authorities say that from June 2004 to February 2005, Jinnah directly or indirectly solicited contributions from more than a dozen "conduits," reimbursing them with funds from his company, All American Distributing, a seller of cellphone service and accessories. Authorities said the scheme allowed Jinnah to get around limits then in effect on individual donors of $5,000 per year to PACs and $2,000 per election to candidates, as well as the ban on using corporate money for political donations.

Jinnah’s case has been handled with discretion by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, which recently lost a high-profile case against former Clinton campaign official David Rosen. Rosen was acquitted of charges of filing false reports about a Hollywood fundraiser given for Clinton in 2000…

According to the indictment, Jinnah arranged $30,000 in donations to HillPac by having Schoenburg, a Tarzana television producer, approach family members and others to act as straw donors. Schoenburg and five others contributed $5,000 apiece. Jinnah later reimbursed them with funds from his corporation, prosecutors say. In one instance, authorities allege, Jinnah and Schoenburg agreed to write "production" in a reimbursement check’s memo line, falsely indicating it was payment for production services…

The indictment says Jinnah also found 14 straw donors to give $28,000 to the 2004 reelection campaign of Boxer (D-Calif.). Among the contributors were five employees of Jinnah’s company, Schoenburg and several members of Schoenburg’s family, records show.

Sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?

Somehow this story got even less play in the mainstream than this week’s Clinton campaign finances scandal.

Which is to say none at all.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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