From the Daily News:
Oliver Pan was snared in a sting operation by an undercover FBI agent posing as a bigwig who wanted to make a $20,000 donation — four times the city limit.
Pan, 46, was caught on tape describing an elaborate scheme to divvy up the cash among 20 “straw donors” who would make $800 contributions in their own name, the feds said.
Plans were made for the fatcat to meet Liu at a small event with some of the straw donors and give a campaign staffer a sheaf of their bogus contribution forms, court papers said.
“Here’s the thing,” Pan told the undercover during a recorded Aug. 15 phone conversation.
“Only [the candidate] knows it’s your event.”
Liu, a 2013 mayoral contender who has already raised a million bucks, was not named in the complaint filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.
But law enforcement sources identified him as the “candidate” repeatedly mentioned, but not accused of any crimes, in the court papers.
Pan, who lives in New Jersey, told the undercover agent that he had used straw-donor schemes to pump up Liu’s coffers in the past, prosecutors said.
The alleged fraud had a two-fold effect: It let the campaign collect more than the legal limit from a single donor and it could have entitled Liu to extra matching funds from the city.
From the Daily News:
Forget becoming New York’s first Asian-American mayor.
The real question that had the city’s political world buzzing Wednesday is whether city Controller John Liu can get reelected to the job he has — or even keep his hide out of prison.
“It’s not likely he’ll be elected mayor in 2012 and not likely that voters will reelect him to be controller, the city’s chief auditor,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime political consultant. “The person who’s supposed to protect the city from fraud can’t be under investigation for fraud.”
Liu’s political fortunes were skewered Wednesday when a campaign fund-raiser working on his 2013 mayoral bid was arrested for chopping up an illegal $16,000 campaign contribution to make it look like it came from 20 different people.
Documents from Manhattan federal prosecutors show that Liu personally glad-handed the deep-pocketed donor — who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent — and that top campaign aides seemed to have knowledge of what the dubious fund-raiser was up to.