Chinese-American investigated over campaign donations

The US Justice Department is investigating Chinese-American businessman Norman Hsu over hundreds of thousands of dollars in possible illegal political campaign donations, the Wall Street Journal reported .

Chinese-American investigated over campaign donations
Hsu, whose huge donations embarrassed prominent Democrats this week after news surfaced that he was wanted in California over a 1992 fraud conviction, was arrested earlier Friday after turning himself in to authorities in Redwood City near San Francisco, local justice officials said.

He was later released on two million dollars bail, said the San Mateo County Sheriff's office.

"Mr. Hsu was released from custody at approximately 2:15 today after posting bail of two million dollars in the form of a cashier's check," said Lisa Williams, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.

Apart from the old fraud case, the Justice Department was investigating whether Hsu illegally reimbursed other people for donations they made to Democrats such as presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, the Journal reported on its website.

It said that Hsu's donations since 2005 appear to track closely to donations from six members of the Paw family, who live in a New York home once listed by Hsu as his own address.

If Hsu reimbursed the family for the 225,000 dollars the Journal reports they gave to Democrats since 2005, he could have violated laws against political campaign donor fraud, risking up to five years in prison and a 250,000 dollar fine.

Hsu is a naturalized US citizen originally from Hong Kong and has been involved in the textiles business, according to another newspaper, the New York Times.

He has been considered a fugitive since 1992 after he failed to show up for a hearing on a fraud charge he pleaded guilty to a year earlier, according to reports.

The Times said he has since 2003 helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats at the national, state and local level.

But in recent weeks the sources of the money have come under question, and the outstanding warrant against Hsu became an embarrassment for the party.

After questions were raised about hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations linked to Hsu, Democratic presidential hopefuls Clinton and Barack Obama announced they would give away the money they received from him to charity.

Agence France Presse
Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2007, 11:46
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