Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
According to an indictment made public on Thursday in U.S. federal court in Manhattan, D'Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate's campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment.
A lawyer for D'Souza contended his actions were "at worst," an act of misguided friendship toward the candidate.
D'Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made.
Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.
"As we have long said, this office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process," the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bharara is an Obama appointee.
Born in Mumbai, India, D'Souza, 52, is a former policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and has been affiliated with conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
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