FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECRM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 1999(202) 616-2777
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
JOHN HUANG PLEADS GUILTY TO
VIOLATING FEDERAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former Lippo Group executive John Huang pleaded guilty today to a felony violation of campaign finance laws, the Campaign Financing Task Force announced. Huang, who has been cooperating with the FBI and prosecutors, was sentenced to one year of probation, 500 hours of community service, a $10,000 fine and directed by the judge to continue cooperating with the investigation as a condition of his probation.
Huang is one of 19 persons prosecuted by the Campaign Financing Task Force, which was established by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate allegations of campaign financing abuses in the 1996 election cycle.
Huang pleaded guilty to charges, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, that the former executive of the Jakarta, Indonesia-based Lippo Group conglomerate conspired with other employees to defraud the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) by causing fellow employees to make campaign contributions and reimbursing the employees with corporate funds or with funds from Jakarta.
The charged conspiracy lasted from approximately 1992 through June 1994. During that period, the conspirators engaged in numerous acts to further the conspiracy. As for Huang's role, the government alleged that he was responsible for arranging approximately $156,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Lippo Group overseas to various Democratic and Republican political committees.
In addition to Huang, the Task Force has charged 18 other individuals. In June 1999, Berek Don, former GOP party leader in Bergen County, NJ, pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to a Senate candidate's reelection campaign. He is to be sentenced in October 1999.
On May 21, 1999, Charlie Trie pleadedguilty to violating federal campaign finance laws by making a political contribution in someone else's name and by causing a false statement to be made to the Federal Election Commission. His sentencing is scheduled for November 1, 1999.
On April 26, 1999, Robert Lee pleaded guilty to making an illegal foreign contribution to the DNC. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 16, 1999.
On March 23, 1999, Juan C. Ortiz, the Chief Financial Officer of Future Tech International, Inc., was sentenced to two years probation, $20,000 in fines, and 200 hours in community service for acting as a conduit for an illegal campaign contribution and participating in the reimbursement of eight other conduit contributions.
On December 14, 1998, Johnny Chung was sentenced to probation and 3,000 hours of community service for bank fraud, tax evasion and two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate election law. On November 24, 1998, Howard Glicken, a fund-raiser for the Democratic party, was sentenced to 18 months probation, an $80,000 fine, and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service for violating campaign finance laws. On November 4, 1998, Franklin Haney was indicted on more than 40 counts of conspiring with another to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding the FEC and conspiring to violate specific provisions of federal election law. He was acquitted on June 30, 1999.
On September 30, 1998, Democratic fund-raiser Mark B. Jimenez was indicted in Washington, D.C. on 17 counts of organizing, and making and concealing illegal conduit contributions to a number of Democratic campaigns. In April, the Task Force indicted him in Miami, adding charges of tax evasion and fraud, and has pursued his extradition from the Philippines.
On March 8, 1999, the Task Force indicted Yogesh Gandhi in San Francisco, charging him with mail and wire fraud, tax evasion, failure to file a tax return and perjury. He pleaded guilty in June 1999 and will be sentenced in November 1999. On July 13, 1998, DNC fund-raiser Pauline Kanchanalak and her business associate Duangnet "Georgie" Kronenberg were charged with conspiring to impair and impede the FEC, and causing the submission of false statements to the FEC. Trial is scheduled for November 1999.
Maria Hsia was indicted in February 1998, in Washington D.C. on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States and causing false statements to be submitted to the FEC. Her trial is scheduled for January 2000.
Trials in the Hsia and Trie campaign finance cases had been postponed pending an appeal of a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., which had dismissed some of the so-called false statement counts. In May 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. overturned the ruling and reinstated those counts. A dismissed portion of the Kanchanalak case is also on appeal in the same court.
In 1997, the Task Force obtained guilty pleas from Democratic fund-raisers Nora and Gene Lum, and their daughter Trisha, and Michael Brown for illegal fund-raising activities after their cases were referred from Independent Counsel Daniel Pearson.