UPDATE: A federal judge in Newark sentenced a Paramus man Thursday to a year's probation for illegally funneling $80,000 in campaign contributions to President Obama's re-election committee in 2012.
PARAMUS, N.J. -- A Paramus man admitted Wednesday that he illegally funneled $80,000 in campaign contributions to President Obama's re-election committee in 2012.
Bilal Shehu, 48, told a judge in U.S. District Court in Newark that he had the money wired from a foreign source into his New Jersey-based bank account and then provided it to a joint fundraising committee – including the authorized campaign committee of the president.
He said he did that to disguise the true origin of the money and so that a foreign national could attend a campaign event on Oct. 8, 2012, in San Francisco.
Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions to federal candidates or fundraising committees.
In order to attend the event, a foreign national needed to be accompanied by a U.S. citizen.
Shehu flew to San Francisco and tried to get in with the foreign national, who was denied entry but was allowed to be photographed with President Obama.
"No one on the joint fundraising committee has been accused of any wrongdoing and the committee has fully cooperated in the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Sentencing was set for Oct. 5.
The FBI investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McCarren of the District of New Jersey’s Special Prosecutions Division and Trial Attorneys Charles Walsh and Peter Halpern of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.
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