September 29th, 2009
06:49 PM ET
13 years ago

Former Democratic fund-raiser sentenced for fraud convictions

NEW YORK (CNN) - A former Democratic fund-raiser who contributed to the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was sentenced Tuesday to 292 months, or more than 24 years, in prison for fraud including campaign finance violations, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced.

"Norman Hsu betrayed the trust of his victims by stealing their money with false promises of fake returns in order to finance a luxurious lifestyle...Today's sentence underscores our commitment to stop swindlers like Hsu in their tracks and bring them to the bar of justice," Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

The sentencing breakdown includes 240 months in prison for wire and mail fraud charges and 52 months in prison for charges of campaign finance fraud.
Judge Victor Marrero, who issued the sentence Tuesday afternoon at a Manhattan federal court, said in a statement, "Hsu's dishonest use of political campaigns to perpetuate his fraud strikes at the very core of our democracy."

Hsu, 57, was convicted in May on four counts of campaign fraud - one for each year from 2004 to 2007.

Earlier this year, Hsu also was found guilty on 10 counts of mail and wire fraud surrounding his investment practices.

He was indicted in 2007 after an investigation into his two investment companies.

When he was convicted in May, prosecutors said that Hsu not only swindled investors out of at least $20 million but also told some investors to make campaign contributions to the candidates he supported, and suggested that their investments could be jeopardized if they didn't do as he asked.

When Hsu's activities came to light, the campaigns of Obama and Clinton - as well as others - either returned his donations or gave them to charity.

In September of 2007, Hsu was en route from California to Denver, Colorado, when he became ill on an Amtrak train and was taken to a hospital. Later that day, FBI agents arrested him on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and he has been in jail since.

Filed under: Norman Hsu
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Fed Up

    Now there's a surprise, a Democrat convicted of Fraud. Surprised that he actually got convicted, not that he committed fraud.

    September 29, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Gerry

    A democract a crook oh how rare. LOL

    September 29, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Farrell in Houston

    Hsu contributed to both Democrat and Republican campaigns and we know Hillary and Obama return theirs during campaigning, so let's be clear and name the others who return theirs.

    September 29, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Jon-In-CA

    Now that HSU sees how little his benefactors helped him... he would be well advised to fully cooperate with authorities investigating Obama and Clinton.

    September 29, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Gee... another democrat going to jail? Say it isn't so!

    24 years in the slammer. Good. That will be lenient compared to what some ACORNS are going to get if someone in the corrupt administration has the stones to assign an independent prosecutor on that corrupt organization.

    September 29, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. Milton Williams

    The right-wing of rhe Republican Party is doing ever thing it can do to discredit the Obama Presidency, after eight months in Office he has been trying to restore the deterioration of this Nation that was left by the Bush/Cheney Admin.

    September 29, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. just truth

    Fund raiser for democrats doing something illegal. say it aint so. just shows how crooked the democrats are.just like the republicans!

    September 29, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Fed Up

    No, it can't be possible a Democratic fund raiser that is a crook! Maybe he can get Obama to pardon him before the 2012 elections.

    September 29, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. CNN =

    Sure is a lot of corruption in the Democrat party!

    September 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    How could we all be so naive, Bush obviously disguised himself as this Democratic fundraiser, gave a bunch of dirty money to Clinton and Obama's campaigns, unknowing to them of course, then hitched a horse ride back to good'ol Texas to watch the real fundraiser getting arrested on TV. What I still can't figure out is where Dick Cheney fits in to all this, he had to have had a role in this virulent right wing conspiracy.

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!

    September 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. victim of republican greed

    I hope he will soon be joined by members of Halliburton, Blackwater, Xe, and all the defense contractors who have stolen from the US government.

    September 29, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Just wanna Know the Truth - That's All

    Whatever happened to Obama's house boy? What was his name? Reski?? Anybody know?

    Has Obama dropped Acorn yet or do they still have a seat at the table in the Whitehouse? Anybody??

    Who was this "Appollo" Organization that wrote the $880 Billion Stimilus Bill? Was Acorn and SEIU part of it? I just want to know??

    Why have the news media quit covering Soldiers returning home in caskets? Is it because Bush is gone? Anybody know?

    Don't give me any Dem or Rep BS line ... I'm independent and just want to know the REAL Truth


    September 29, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Theory

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !!! Boy them republican look sooo appealing , just gotta go join them ! They really stand for ... well, nothing that The Human Race stands for ! Too Racist ! The base of that party will hold back any universal minded being and shake them to the core ! You literally have to swallow so much bull to be there that it is a step back in evolution. I think white america is smarter than that, because that is all that the republican party could hope to attract !!!

    September 29, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Fitz in Texas

    What a surprise......not

    September 29, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. Pfft

    Wow, a corrupt Democrap. Who wouldda thunk it?

    September 29, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. m smith

    oh gosh this must be the presidents fault. !!!!
    everything else is.

    September 29, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    What a party of corrupt dirt-bags.

    September 29, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |

    why not send Acorn Obama or Wafful Clinton to keep him company instead of giving them vacations on our tax dollars.


    September 29, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    Democrats and dirty money, nah, this is part of the vast right wing conpiracy and since Barry is involved there is racisim attached as well.

    Before you bleating KNOW NOTHING sheep start, chew on this factoid, the 10 leading money grabbers from wall street are ALL Democrats and they divvy up the money from your beloved Schumer on down – 10.6 million dollars funneled in with 7.7 million to Democrats so save the "Victim of Republican greed" stupidity.

    I realize facts and you folks don't get along too well, so, Your Welcome.

    September 29, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. MatthewDetroit

    Perfect example of the Democrats and their Friends.

    Too bad.

    Very similar to what is going on with ACORN.

    CNN, MSNBC, all tried to hide it and seep it under the rug, but somehow the story would not stay away.

    The best is the liar cheat Barack.."who claims to not know anything about ACORN,... while he GAVE them 850,000 to help in his campaign... oh yes and he was a lawyer and trainer for them as well.... How does he keep saying he does not know what is going on...
    The guy is just a liar....

    September 29, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. They call me "tater salad"

    Yet Bush and Cheney are still walking around as free men! How convienent! What a great country we live in, we should all be just so proud of ourselves.............NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 29, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. mh

    typical democrat

    September 29, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  23. hockeyagent

    I don't see a one single comment from liberals. Shocking. If this was a Republican, the comment section would be full of nasty remarks in a split second.

    September 29, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |