Department of Justice Seal



TUESDAY, MAY 25, 1999

(202) 616-2777


TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former Lippo Group executive John Huang was today charged with a one-count felony violation of campaign finance laws, the Campaign Financing Task Force announced.

Huang is the seventeenth person 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.

The criminal information, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, charges the former executive of the Jakarta, Indonesia-based Lippo Group conglomerate with conspiring with other Lippo Group executives to defraud the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by causing fellow employees to make campaign contributions and reimbursing the employees with corporate funds or with funds from Jakarta.

The information charges that the conspiracy lasted from approximately 1992 through June 1994. It alleges that the conspirators engaged in numerous acts to further the conspiracy, including, making a $2,500 contribution to the campaign committee of Michael Woo, a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles in 1993, and a $5,000 contribution to the California Victory Fund '94, some of which was shared by the Feinstein for Senate '94 Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the California Democratic Party.

Huang has been providing information to the Task Force investigation for several months. Filed with the information was a waiver of indictment executed by Huang, in which he waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury. It is anticipated that Huang will make an initial appearance in federal court next week, and he is expected to plead guilty soon thereafter.

The felony charge carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison. In light of Huang's substantial cooperation, the prosecution will not seek a prison term.

The charge filed today does not involve violations of espionage (economic or otherwise) or national security by Huang. The United States is not currently aware of evidence which would support any charges of the relevant espionage or national security statutes. However, the government remains free to bring such charges should the evidence so warrant.

In addition to Huang, the Task Force has charged sixteen other individuals. On May 21, 1999, Charlie Trie 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. On April 26, 1999, 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. In recent weeks, 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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