(CNN) - Conservative commentator and author Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign.
D'Souza allegedly made and arranged $20,000 in campaign donations to an unnamed campaign in 2012 and then reimbursed those who were directed to make contributions, according to the charges handed up in New York City.
Federal election law limits individual campaign contributions to a federal candidate to $2,500 each for a primary and general election campaign.
The law also bars any person from making contributions in the name of others or reimbursing another person's contribution.
D'Souza, 52, of San Diego, was charged with one count of making illegal campaign donations in the name of others and a second count of making false statements about those donations, authorities said.
"As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process. If, as alleged, the defendant directed others to make contributions to a Senate campaign and reimbursed them, that is a serious violation of federal campaign finance laws," Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
D'Souza attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a statement the indictment does not allege a corrupt relationship between his client and the candidate.
"Simply put, there was no 'quid pro quo' in this case, nor was there even any knowledge by the candidate that campaign finance rules may have been violated. Mr. D'Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever," Brafman said.
"He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at worst, this was an act of misguided friendship by D'Souza," he added.
A noted conservative activist, D'Souza is a former policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan. He also directed a 2012 documentary, "2016: Obama's America," that was highly critical of President Barack Obama and based on his book "The Roots of Obama's Rage."
D'Souza is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court on Friday.