SoCal Man Who Donated $900K to Trump Will Plead Guilty to Hiding Work as Foreign Agent, Illegal Campaign Contributions
An Arcadia man with a history of donating to Democrats and Republicans in federal elections — including $900,000 funneled to President Trump’s inaugural committee — is expected to plead guilty to falsifying records to conceal his work as a foreign agent and making almost $1 million in illegal campaign contributions, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Imaad Shah Zuberi, a 49-year-old campaign fundraiser who ran a venture capital firm, is also expected to admit to tax evasion as he owes taxes for the years 2012 through 2015, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
For several years, Zuberi made illegal campaign contributions to several political campaigns at the federal level, hiding that fact that he was working as a foreign agent on behalf of entities in countries such as Bahrain and Sri Lanka, according to prosecutors.
He was previously a major donor to President Obama and his venture capital firm, Avenue Ventures, donated $900,000 to Trump’s committee, according to The Daily Beast.
As part of his scheme, Zuberi allegedly told representatives of foreign governments and others outside the U.S. he could use his influence in Washington, D.C. — impacting American policymaking to the financial benefit of himself and his clients. But prosecutors said those efforts were largely unsuccessful and Zuberi ended up taking much of the money for his own personal use.
The scheme involved fake representations of Zuberi’s “education, experience, family wealth, business, employees, investment successes, financial condition, political power,” according to an indictment. He also allegedly showed clients photos of himself discussing policy with elected officials to prove his political access.
According to prosecutors, he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by not disclosing that he was working as a foreign agent. An indictment details political contributions exceeding $3 million allegedly made by Zuberi.
As part of the plea deal, he must post at least $3 million bond at his arraignment and his wife will not face prosecution in connection with tax evasion.