Department of Justice Seal



FRIDAY, MAY 21, 1999

(202) 616-2777


TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie today pleaded guilty 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, the Campaign Financing Task Force announced today. Trie's plea comes in the middle of a trial in Little Rock, Arkansas, into allegations that he obstructed the Senate campaign finance investigation.

Trie faces a sentence of up to six years in prison and a $350,000 fine.

In the agreement, filed today together with a Criminal Information in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Trie admitted to one felony and on misdemeanor count of violating federal campaign finance laws.

Count One alleges that Trie caused the treasurer for the Democratic National Committee to submit a false report to the FEC indicating that a lawful contribution was made by one individual, when in fact, Trie knew that another individual had made the contribution. He faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on that count.

Count Two alleges that Trie willfully made a campaign contribution in the name of another individual. He faces up to one year in prison and a fine of $100,000 on that count.

Under today's agreement, Trie also agreed to cooperate with federal Task Force investigators. His cooperation could have an impact on his sentencing.

On January 29, 1998, Trie and Antonio Pan were indicted in Washington, D.C. on 15 charges, including one count of obstruction of justice. The obstruction of justice charge alleged that in March 1997, Trie instructed someone to destroy, conceal and fail to produce documents responsive to a subpoena issued by the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. In February 1997, the Committee had issued a subpoena to Daihatsu International Trading Corporation, an Arkansas company owned and operated by Trie, seeking records relating to political contributions and the DNC.

At Trie's request, the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. dismissed the one obstruction count, ruling that it could only be filed in Little Rock, where the alleged violation took place. If Trie had waived his venue claim, the entire case would have been tried in Washington, D.C. In November, the Task Force refiled its obstruction charge against Trie in Little Rock. Last week, a trial on the obstruction count began.

Today's plea involves the charges in both Little Rock and Washington, D.C.

Trie is one of sixteen persons charged by the Task Force, which was established to investigate allegations of campaign financing abuses in the 1996 election cycle. On April 26, Robert Lee pleaded guilty to making an illegal foreign contribution to the DNC. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July. 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. His case is scheduled for trial on June 21, 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.

On August 5, 1998, the Task Force indicted Yogesh Gandhi on mail fraud charges in San Francisco. A superseding 12-count information filed on March 8, 1999, charged him with mail and wire fraud, tax evasion, failure to file a tax return and perjury. 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 Los Angeles on July 7, 1998 on four tax counts. That case is currently under way. On February 18, 1998, Hsia was also indicted in D.C. on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States and causing false statements to be submitted to the FEC.

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. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. overturned the ruling and reinstated those counts.

In 1997, the Task Force obtained guilty pleas from Democratic fund-raisers Nora and Gene Lum, their daughter Trisha, and Michael Brown for illegal fund-raising activities after their cases were referred from Independent Counsel Daniel Pearson.

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