Oakland, CA—An Oakland area real estate developer James Tong was found guilty for funneling tens of thousands of dollars through straw donors into two consecutive congressional campaigns for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The network of straw donors included dozens of conduits who agreed to write checks in exchange for a commensurate amount of cash sourced from Tong. Tong provided envelopes of cash to the two intermediaries and directed them to reimburse individuals for their contributions. Tong also directed an intermediary to conceal the scheme by instructing the conduits not to deposit the cash and later directed the intermediary to withhold information from the FBI after he was interviewed. Evidence at trial demonstrated that members of the campaign, including the candidate, were unaware of the defendant’s illegal contribution scheme.