Democratic fundraiser Hsu
charged in $60 million fraud scheme
By Ari Burack
September 20, 2007
With proceedings underway to extradite former fugitive Democratic
fundraiser Norman Hsu back to California, the U.S. Attorney's
Office in New York today separately charged Hsu with defrauding
investors out of millions of dollars and violating federal election
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Michael Garcia
alleged a "massive Ponzi scheme" by Hsu defrauded U.S.
investors out of $60 million. Hsu was also charged with violating
federal campaign finance laws by contributing to various political
campaigns using other people's names.
It was anticipated that the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
would retrieve Hsu from Mesa County Jail in Colorado today to
be sentenced for a 1991 conviction for grand theft.
Hsu, 56, failed to show up for his sentencing hearing in 1992,
but after finally turning himself in to authorities in Redwood
City on Aug. 31, he posted $2 million cash bail and then skipped
out on a Sept. 5 court hearing.
The next day, Hsu was found ill on an eastbound train from Emeryville
and was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.
Hospital officials refused to discuss his condition.
His lawyer said Hsu had been under "enormous, and perhaps,
unbearable" strain. He was released from the hospital Sept.
Hsu is estimated to have personally contributed at least $260,000
to the Democratic Party, most since 2004, and reportedly raised
larger sums by bundling contributions from other donors.
Recipients included U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack
Obama, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John Kerry, D-Mass.,
and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Last week, Clinton's presidential campaign spokesman announced
the campaign would return about $850,000 in contributions raised
by Hsu from some 260 donors, and promised to conduct criminal
background checks on future fundraisers.
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