Feds Investigate New York City Comptroller John Liu’s Campaign Funding
Posted by Author on November 19, 2011
NEW YORK— A federal grand jury investigating possible irregularities in the campaign financing for New York City Comptroller John Liu has subpoenaed his campaign and a business whose employees were said to have donated to the campaign.
The New York Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that investigators are seeking records from his campaign as well as records from Maspeth, Queens-based Dynasty Stainless Steel, whose employees were said to have donated thousands to his campaign.
The probe was apparently prompted by a Times article published last month, which reported on journalists visiting close to 100 businesses and homes of the donors listed on Liu’s campaign finance reports. It raised questions about irregularities in the comptroller’s fundraising efforts, including where the money actually came from, if contributors gave their own money, or even if the donors ever existed.
The investigation is being headed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI.
According to the Times, nine people listed as employees of Dynasty each gave $800 to Liu’s campaign. However, the Times report said four employees actually did not work at the company and said they did not give any money to Liu’s campaign.
Not the First Investigation
In 2009, The Epoch Times reported on Liu’s campaign finance discrepancies, which included donors saying that they had not given money they were listed on campaign documents as having given and missing information on a number of donations. The Epoch Times report also called attention to the fact that the Chinese regime has close ties to Chinese associations in New York that held several fundraising events for Liu.
The FBI and the federal district attorney’s office launched an investigation in 2009 into the question of whether Liu’s campaign for comptroller had accepted foreign money. The New York Times said it is unclear whether the current investigation and the one two years ago are connected.
The 2009 Epoch Times report found that more than 140 of Liu’s contributions were missing all the required information, including the occupation, employer, and business address, which are required by the New York City Campaign Finance Board. The total value for these donations was listed at $112,000.
Ning Ye, a Flushing resident and practicing attorney for the state of New York, told the Epoch Times in 2009 that at the time, he was concerned with how well Liu’s campaign appeared to be financed.
“I see a lot of people, like a rally, like a popular demonstration, holding John Liu’s picture, with slogans. … The size of the campaign is unprecedented,” Ning said at the time. “It involves so many well-organized people and so much funding.”
Ning pointed out that Chinese people tend not to make sizable donations to political campaigns, and Liu’s well-funded campaign caused him to fear possible foreign interference in a U.S. election.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.