A top Democrat political and businessman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for making illegal campaign contributions to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and former President Barack Obama.
Imaad Shah Zuberi of Arcadia, California, was also ordered to pay $15,705,080 in restitution and a criminal fine of $1.75 million by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.
Zuberi rubbed elbows with Obama, Clinton, and then-Vice President Joe Biden.
Zuberi made donations amassing six-figures to the Obama-Biden campaign in 2012 and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
But according to a spokesperson for Biden, there was no knowledge of Zuberi’s illegal activities or at donor roundtables.
Zuberi pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by making false statements on a FARA filing, tax evasion, and making illegal campaign contributions.
Zuberi also pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice in a separate case in June last year.
Zuberi also sold access to high-profile political figures in exchange for foreign money in a straw donor scheme worth millions.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said:
“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise.”
“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.”
“He not only concealed his lucrative agreements with those foreign principals but also made false statements about them in a FARA filing.”
“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.”
“This sentence should deter others who would seek to corrupt our political processes and compromise our institutions in exchange for foreign cash.”
Zuberi told the judge US District Judge Virginia Phillips:
“I’m deeply sorry and, of course, humiliated,” he said, according to Politico.
“I have no excuse for what I’ve done.”
Federal prosecutors called the scope of Zuberi’s scheme unprecedented.
Zuberi’s crimes consisted of lobbying for governments with sketchy human rights records like Sri Lanka and Turkey, as well as a Ukrainian oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zuberi’s lawyers noted he already had paid more than $10 million in restitution.
Zuberi is to report to prison on May 25.
If Zuberi’s crimes of selling access to high-profile US politicians, then what were Biden and his son Hunter doing?