Feb 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump inauguration donor sentenced to 12 years for illegal contribution, obstruction


Photo: Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images

California venture capitalist Imaad Shah Zuberi was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday for unregistered foreign lobbying, illegal campaign contributions and obstruction of justice.

Details: The obstruction of justice charge against Zuberi stemmed from an investigation into a $900,000 contribution he made to former President Trump's inaugural committee. Zuberi was also ordered to pay a $1.75 million fine and $15.7 million in restitution.

  • Prosecutors allege Zuberi solicited money from foreign nationals and governments that he then used to hire political operatives and to funnel donations to Republicans and Democrats.
  • Zuberi pleaded guilty to illegal lobbying, tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions in November 2019. He subsequently pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in June 2020.

What they're saying: “Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement. “He used foreign money to fund illegal campaign contributions that bought him political influence, and used that influence to lobby U.S. officials for policy changes on behalf of numerous foreign principals."

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