Hsu's tangled web

Fugitive fundraiser Norman Hsu apparently ran a shell company which may have existed to illegally reimburse campaign donors, Mike McIntire reports for the New York Times:

A review of financial records for one of Mr. Hsu’s companies begins to shed light on some of his recent activities, including his dealings with a circle of campaign contributors that has fallen under suspicion since news of Mr. Hsu’s criminal past, murky business interests and unexplained riches rocked the Democratic Party.

The records show that Components Ltd., a company controlled by Mr. Hsu that has no obvious business purpose and appears to exist only on paper, has paid a total of more than $100,000 to at least nine people who made campaign contributions to Mrs. Clinton and others through Mr. Hsu. The payments occurred in the spring of 2003, several months before Mr. Hsu emerged as a contributor to Democrats and more than a year before he started bundling checks from those same people for various campaigns. In all, he has raised more than $1 million for Democrats.

Read the whole article at the link above. The damning financial records only cover a single month’s bank statements, so with all McIntire has uncovered, it could still just be the tip of the iceberg. Checks were drawn to several of the people whose “contributions” were then “bundled” by Hsu for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. This is strictly illegal because it hides the true source of the money and may exceed contribution limits.

The “true source of the money” remains unclear. Hsu’s companies weren’t engaged in any business activity and seemingly existed merely as conduits for cash to be exchanged. Until we know exactly where the money came from and what the real donor expected to get for his or her largesse, the questions will continue.

Although Senator Hillary Clinton is most closely related to Hsu in press reports, he has raised money for a wide range of Democrats, all of which donations must be considered suspect now.

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