Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza was indicted in federal court on Thursday for allegedly arranging for $20,000 worth of campaign contributions — far above legal limits, Reuters reported.
The indictment did not name the candidate benefitting from the donations, but the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) accused D’Souza of reimbursing others in August 2012 for making the donations in his name, enabling for them to be falsely reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Taken together, the charges carry possible penalties of up to seven years in prison.
In 2012, D’Souza campaigned on behalf of Republican Wendy Long in her unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D). Federal law prohibits individuals from donating more than $2,500 to a candidate in either a primary or general election campaign.
“Trying to influence elections through bogus campaign contributions is a serious crime,” Assistant Director-In-Charge George Venizelos said in a statement. “Today, Mr. D’Souza finds himself on the wrong side of the law. The Federal Election Campaign Act was written to limit the influence of money in elections; the FBI is fiercely committed to enforcing those laws to maintain the integrity of our democratic process.”
D’Souza, a former president at King’s College, was fired from the Christian-affiliated university in October 2012 after being spotted traveling with a woman who was not his wife.
He was also behind the documentary 2016: Obama’s America, which drew surprisingly well at the box office thanks to support from conservatives. While promoting the film, D’Souza accused President Barack Obama of harboring “Charles Bronson rage, vigilante rage.”
In November 2013, D’Souza was roundly criticized for a Twitter post seemingly comparing Obama to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
[Image via HBO]