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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

California Attorney Pleads Guilty in Multimillion Dollar Conduit Campaign Contribution Conspiracy Case

A Glendale, California attorney pleaded guilty today for conspiring to make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions during the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and thereafter.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting Assistant Director in Charge James A. Dawson of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

Rudy Dekermenjian, 42, of Glendale, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make conduit contributions, make excessive contributions, cause false statements, and cause false entries in records before the Honorable Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. 

According to admissions made in connection with his plea, between March 2016 and June 2018, Dekermenjian conspired with Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja and others to make unlawful contributions to political committees, thereby circumventing contribution limits and causing the political committees to unwittingly submit false reports to the Federal Election Commission.  Specifically, Dekermenjian admitted that in October 2016, Khawaja gave him $50,000 to contribute in Dekermenjian’s name to a political committee supporting a candidate running for U.S. president in the 2016 election cycle.  The purpose of making the contribution in Dekermenjian’s name was to allow Khawaja to exceed contribution limits set by federal law with respect to the political committee at issue.  The contribution was made in connection with a political event hosted by Khawaja in October 2016.

Additionally, Dekermenjian admitted that in January 2018, Khawaja gave him approximately $50,000 to contribute in Dekermenjian’s name to another political committee.  Again, the purpose of making the contribution in Dekermenjian’s name was to allow Khawaja to exceed contribution limits with respect to the political committee at issue.  The contribution was made in connection with another political event hosted by Khawaja in March 2018.

Charges remain pending against Khawaja, who is a fugitive, and others in the indictment.  An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  It merely alleges that crimes have been committed.  A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys James C. Mann and Michael J. Romano of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
20-898
Updated September 9, 2020