Home News California Developer Found Guilty of Illegally Contributing to Eric Swalwell’s Political Campaigns

California Developer Found Guilty of Illegally Contributing to Eric Swalwell’s Political Campaigns

by Paul Goldberg

The plot thickens and Eric Swalwell, a fierce Trump critic, has some explaining to do. Swalwell dropped out of his disaster of a presidential campaign earlier after getting no traction.

Eric has been a constant on television networks because he will trash Trump to no end with little proof behind his accusations.

He has told whopper after whopper – he told Rachel Maddow at one point with a smug grin on his face that Mueller had Trump and his associates dead to rights and that people were going to jail.

Well, that turned out to be a dud but this case did not. From SF Chronicle:

An East Bay real estate developer was convicted Tuesday of funneling illegal contributions through straw donors to the congressional campaigns of Rep. Eric Swalwell.

 After a 10-day trial, a federal court jury in Oakland found James Tong guilty of two counts of illegally arranging the contributions to Swalwell’s election campaign in 2012 and his 2014 re-election.

The funds totaled $38,000. Prosecutors said Tong, 74, of Fremont, pressured dozens of people to make individual contributions to Swalwell and used go-betweens to reimburse the money, exceeding the limits set by federal law of $2,500 for individual contributions to a congressional candidate in 2012 and $2,600 in 2014.

From DOJ: A federal jury found Oakland area real estate developer James Tong guilty for funneling tens of thousands of dollars through straw donors into two consecutive congressional campaigns for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.  The verdict came down today after an 8-day trial before the Hon. Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge.

Tong, 74, of Fremont, Calif., was found guilty of two counts of making contributions to a federal campaign in the name of other individuals.  According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2012 and 2013 Tong used two primary straw donors as recruiters for his scheme.  Tong gave thousands of dollars in cash to his chosen middlemen and instructed them to recruit straw donors to write checks to a candidate who was running for office in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Tong induced the individuals to distribute cash in the community to be donated to the initial and reelection campaigns of the candidate.  The network of straw donors included dozens of conduits who agreed to write checks in exchange for a commensurate amount of cash sourced from Tong. 

Tong provided envelopes of cash to the two intermediaries and directed them to reimburse individuals for their contributions. 

Tong also directed an intermediary to conceal the scheme by instructing the conduits not to deposit the cash and later directed the intermediary to withhold information from the FBI after he was interviewed.  Evidence at trial demonstrated that members of the campaign, including the candidate, were unaware of the defendant’s illegal contribution scheme.

On August 31, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Tong charging him with two counts of making and causing campaign contributions in the name of another, in violation of 52 U.S.C. §§ 30122 and 30109(d)(1)(D).  The jury found Tong guilty of both counts.

Judge Tigar scheduled Tong’s sentencing for Dec. 13.  Tong faces a maximum statutory penalty of two years in prison and 1000% of the amount involved in the violation for each count. 

The FBI conducted the investigation.  Trial Attorneys Amanda R. Vaughn and Rebecca G. Ross of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Waqar Hasib of the Northern District of California prosecuted the case.


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disqus_dRGrKClqBz October 10, 2019 - 21:44

Nuke him!

Freeland_Dave October 10, 2019 - 22:23

Well well well. At long last James Tong got caught doing something wrong. I was beginning to wonder if they would ever catch him.


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