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Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative filmmaker and author, has agreed to plead guilty to charges of campaign finance violations. D’Souza is best known as a critic of the Obama Administration, co-directing the controversial 2016: Obama’s America and writing The Roots of Obama’s Rage.
The Indian-born D’Souza ran into trouble four months ago when Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara first charged D’Souza with using “straw donors” to donate to the Wendy Long’s 2012 Senate Campaign, reports Reuters. Long, a Republican, ended up losing the race to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.
Prosecutors alleged that D’Souza wanted to contribute more than the $5,000 allowed for individuals at the time. So, he enlisted two friends and their spouses to donate $10,000 each to Long and then he paid them back.
“I knew that causing a campaign contribution to me made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids,” D’Souza told Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman during the hearing, reports The New York Post. “I deeply regret my conduct.”
D’Souza and his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, did not give the media any further comment. He faces 10 to 16 months behind bars, but Brafman will seek a sentence that avoids jailtime. He could also pay a $250,000 fine. The sentencing is set for Sept. 23.
Questions have been raised about D’Souza’s prosecution, particularly since Bharara is an Obama appointee, notes Reuters. Brafman said in a previous filing that D’Souza was only charged because of his criticism of the president.
His resume includes being a policy adviser for President Ronald Reagan and working with the American Enterprise Institute and other institutions. He was also president of King’s College in New York until it was revealed that he was engaged to another woman while still married.