LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Norman Hsu, the Democratic fundraiser with a habit of fleeing the law, confessed to FBI agents last week that he pressured investors in what he now admits were phony business deals to contribute to political campaigns, prosecutors said in an indictment that was unsealed Thursday.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accused Hsu of bilking at least $60 million from hundreds of investors in a nationwide Ponzi scheme, and using some of that money to illegally reimburse at least two people who made a total of $60,000 in campaign donations at his request.
While the complaint did not specify which candidates received the illegal or coerced contributions, federal authorities confirmed that one of them was Sen. Hillary Clinton. Her presidential campaign has said it intends to return $850,000 to more than 200 people whose donations were bundled by Hsu.
If convicted of the three charges he faces – mail fraud, wire fraud and violating the Federal Election Campaign Act – he could face a maximum of 45 years in prison.
Hsu, in custody of state law enforcement officers, arrived back in the Bay Area on Thursday afternoon after waiving extradition from Colorado, where he had been since earlier this month when he fell ill on an Amtrak train bound for Denver.
The 56-year-old apparel industry executive and major donor to Democratic candidates and causes surrendered to the authorities in Redwood City at the end of August after reports surfaced that, for the last 15 years, he had been a fugitive in a 1992 million-dollar fraud case.