Charges filed against Democratic 'HillRaiser'
(New York - WABC, September 20, 2007) (WABC) -- Federal prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint Thursday charging Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu with breaking campaign finance laws and creating a "massive" Ponzi scheme.
The complaint says Hsu - who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and others - violated campaign finance laws by making contributions to candidates in other people's names and perpetrated a Ponzi scheme to defraud victims across the United States of over $60 million.
Robert Emmers, a spokesman for Hsu, declined to comment. Hsu's lawyer in San Francisco, Jim Brosnahan, did not immediately return phone messages Thursday.
The charges are the latest in a string of legal problems for Hsu.
He is already in custody in Colorado, where he was captured after skipping a scheduled court appearance in California on an unrelated, 1991 fraud case.
In that case, state prosecutors accused him of fraudulently persuading investors to pump money into a clothing import business that didn't actually exist. He pleaded guilty, but fled to Hong Kong before he could be sentenced.
The fraud case was largely forgotten when he returned to the United States and years later began aggressively raising money for Democrats, including Clinton.
His more recent troubles began this summer when news reports revealed his criminal history and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Politicians began returning his money. Clinton said she would give back $850,000.
Investors in Hsu's business ventures also began claiming that they had been duped.
Source Financing Investors, a fund run by one of the creators of the 1969 Woodstock rock festival, complained to Manhattan prosecutors that it put $40 million into Hsu business ventures that it now suspects were fraudulent.
Hsu was not expected to be in New York on Thursday to face the new charges.
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