Who is Imaad Zuberi? Bizman who donated millions to Obama, Trump campaigns faces 12-year jail for funneling cash
Zuberi is believed to have been a top fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. In 2017, he made a donation of whopping $900,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee
San Gabriel Valley businessman Imaad Zuberi, who once donated millions of dollars to both Democrats and Republicans for their campaigns, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of funneling foreign money to US political campaigns, tax evasion and failing to register as a foreign agent. According to reports, he pleaded guilty on Friday, February 19, in Los Angeles. Zuberi has come under scrutiny for making big donations to the inaugural committee of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
US District Judge Virginia Phillips, who imposed his sentence, said, “All of these are serious offenses.” Zuberi has reportedly been filed with $1.7 million and ordered to pay $15.7 million to the government in restitution for “unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.”
Who is Imaad Zuberi?
Zuberi is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist who serves as a partner in Avenue Ventures. He has been the vice president of strategic development of Manhattan Street Capital since 2015. Zuberi is believed to have been a top fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. In 2017, he made a donation of whopping $900,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee. The subsequent investigation into the donations by federal prosecutors revealed that the transactions including fraud and money laundering.
Zuberi is also said to have supported the National Museum of American History, the Clinton Foundation and UCLA. He reportedly also supported Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign in 2013. Court documents allege that Zuberi kept the majority of the money he collected from individuals in Bahrain and Sri Lanka to himself. He agreed to plead guilty to charges against him in October 2019.
He’s accused of acting as an agent for Turkish government
Federal prosecutors revealed on Friday that Zuberi offered over $6 million to the witnesses in his case to destroy evidence. They further revealed that he acted as an unregistered agent for the Turkish government and Libyan government officials among other foreign countries.
The US attorney’s office in Los Angeles has accused Zuber of stalling his hearing and they reportedly told the judge that if he doesn’t plea guilty as scheduled, his plea agreement “would be vided and he would be hit with additional charges, including wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice related to $50,000 Zuberi is alleged to have paid a witness.”
The prosecutor said they would provide evidence to prove that Zuberi had obstructed investigation “by paying, or offering to pay, $6,150,000 to six witnesses in return for their false testimony or silence.”
Reports suggest that Zuberi maintained his “wrongdoing had been limited and asked to be credited for years of cooperation with federal and local law enforcement.” He told the judge, “I’m deeply sorry and, of course, humiliated. I have no excuse for what I’ve done.”