A high-level Democratic political donor is going to prison after pleading guilty to a slew of criminal offenses, the Washington Examiner reports.
Venture capitalist Imaad Zuberi was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for making illegal campaign donations as well as committing tax fraud and operating as an unregistered foreign agent.
The Examiner noted that while Zuberi had made contributions to former President Donald Trump, Zuberi spent years donating to Democrats in what prosecutors say was an attempt to buy influence. That included serving as a top fundraiser for former President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 White House run.
“Bought political influence”
“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a Justice Department press release.
“He used foreign money to fund illegal campaign contributions that bought him political influence, and used that influence to lobby U.S. officials for policy changes on behalf of numerous foreign principals,” Demers continued.
Demers explained that Zuberi not only committed these crimes, but went to great lengths to cover them up.
“He not only concealed his lucrative agreements with those foreign principals, but also made false statements about them in a FARA filing,” he said.
Demers went on: “After learning he was under investigation, Zuberi doubled down on his criminal conduct, obstructing justice by creating false records, destroying evidence, and attempting to purchase witnesses’ silence.”
“Should deter others”
Demers said that Zuberi’s “sentence should deter others who would seek to corrupt our political processes and compromise our institutions in exchange for foreign cash.”
Acting United States Attorney Tracy Wilkison said that Zuberi “flouted federal laws that restrict foreign influences upon our government and prohibit injecting foreign money into our political campaigns.”
Wilkison explained that as a lobbyist Zuberi had “enriched himself by defrauding his clients and evading the payment of taxes.”
“Today’s sentence, which also accounts for Mr. Zuberi’s attempt to obstruct an investigation into his felonious conduct, underscores the importance of our ongoing efforts to maintain transparency in U.S. elections and policy-making processes,” she said.