A large donor to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden has been sentenced to twelve years in prison after he confesses to illegal donations to Democratic politicians.
Imaad Zuberi helped fund Biden’s campaign in 2020 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. The court released many photos uncovered during the trial, including a picture of Zuberi rubbing elbows with then-Vice President Joe Biden. It did not include the “For Sale” sign on Biden’s back.
Besides a six-figure donation to Hillary in 2016, Zuberi also contributed a similar amount to Obama/Biden in 2012.
A spokesman for Biden says that he had no knowledge of Zuberi using illegal tactics to make contributions to his campaign and at times when the two met. That is most likely true.
You would never implicate yourself by telling someone the campaign contributions you made were illegal. But on the other hand, they have not committed to returning the tainted money.
Zuberi, a Pakistani-American, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and lobbying US officials while working as a foreign agent.
Evidence shows that Zuberi sold access to top Democratic politicians during the time he was making the donations. In return, Zuberi received millions that he was able to contribute using a straw donor scheme.
He was fined two million dollars and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $16 million.
The AP reported that Zuberi has been cooperating with the feds, but some of his cooperation is still under seal:
Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips for a stiff sentence, calling the scope of Zuberi’s scheme unprecedented. The Los Angeles businessman’s crimes included unregistered lobbying for governments with spotty human rights records like Sri Lanka and Turkey as well as a Ukrainian oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, prosecutors said.
Phillips noted the sophistication of Zuberi’s straw donor scheme and also spoke of the role such campaign finance investigations play in preserving the integrity of American elections.
Zuberi, 50, maintained his wrongdoing had been limited and asked to be credited for years of cooperation with federal and local law enforcement. His attorneys noted he already has paid more than $10 million in restitution.
Some of Zuberi’s cooperation remains under seal. Phillips, citing national security interests, closed the courtroom for part of Thursday’s proceedings to discuss classified information Zuberi filed in an effort to reduce his sentence. Zuberi’s attorneys asked Phillips to credit him for a list of law enforcement leads and intelligence he provided to the federal government, according to people familiar with the court filings.