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Press Release

Former Democratic Party Chair Sentenced On Conspiracy To Cause Foreign Campaign Donation Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, NY – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that G. Steven Pigeon, 61, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to cause a foreign donation in a state election in violation of federal law, was sentenced to serve four months in prison and one year supervised release by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno and Deputy Chief John Keller of the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section, who handled the case, stated that while working as a political consultant and lobbyist in Buffalo, Pigeon represented a foreign client, whose CEO was a Canadian citizen. In early 2014, despite knowing that it was illegal to make a foreign donation to a state political campaign, Pigeon solicited the CEO to make a $25,000 donation to the reelection campaign of a New York state elected official. However, the campaign rejected the donation because the CEO was not a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States. Pigeon and the CEO then caused the donation from the CEO to be made through another individual, a permanent legal resident of the United States and an employee working for the CEO. In February 2014, a $25,000 donation was made to the elected official’s campaign, with Pigeon and the CEO knowing that the CEO would reimburse, the donation. As a result of the $25,000 donation, Pigeon and the CEO were granted entry into a fundraising event for the public official in New York City on February 26, 2014. 

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the FBI Buffalo Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Stephen Belongia; the New York State Attorney General’s Office, under the direction of Letisha James; and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eugene Staniszewski.

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Updated April 19, 2023

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