Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Liu knew of bad campaign donations
From the Daily News:
Embattled City Controller John Liu may have known some contributions to his mayoral campaign were fishy, court records revealed as a second member of his political circle was busted Tuesday.
That news surfaced as the widening federal probe into Liu’s fund-raising for the 2013 mayoral race ensnared his campaign treasurer, Jia Hou. The feds accused her of steering 40 fraudulent donations to the campaign through a coordinated subterfuge that used straw donors to duck campaign finance laws.
The complaint alleges that Liu fund-raising bundler Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan — the other member of the Democratic controller’s camp to be pinched — coached an undercover FBI agent posing as a businessman to tell the candidate prior to a fund-raiser that this was his “event.”
Liu, the court papers quote Pan as saying, would “know what I meant” and understand that all the campaign contributions being collected at the event were really coming from the undercover agent’s “money.”
...City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Queens), a major Liu supporter and one of his top fund-raisers, said he should step down as controller if the insinuation that he may have known what was going on proves true.
“If he knew, he should consider resigning his position — if he knew,” Koo said.
Koo added that he saw Hou, whose family is close to the controller, a few days ago at a campaign function and she didn’t seem to know she was going to be charged.
The feds documented a flurry of instant messages that showed how Hou on July 14 of last year allegedly offered to reimburse one crooked donor. “Don’t worry about it,” she texted.
Hou also instructed campaign volunteers to “imitate the handwriting of campaign donors” to make their contributions look kosher, the court papers state. She is also accused of withholding potentially damning documents after she was slapped with subpoenas by government investigators last year.