Sant Chatwal pleads guilty to US polls laws breach

  • PTI, New York
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2014 12:05 IST

Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal on Thursday pleaded guilty at a court in New York to violating federal election laws by using straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns and will pay a million dollars to the US as part of his plea agreement.

"Chatwal admitted that he used straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns so that he could gain access to the politicians, and he coerced another person to hide his crime," said acting US Assistant Attorney General David O'Neil.

Chatwal, 70, had raised at least $100,000 for former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama.

He pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (the 'Election Act') by making more than $180,000 in federal campaign donations to three candidates through straw donors who were reimbursed and to witness tampering.

There is no allegation that the candidates participated in, or were aware of, Chatwal's scheme, federal prosecutors said.

As part of his plea agreement with the government, he agreed to forfeit one million dollars to the US.

"Chatwal went to great lengths to undermine both election laws and our system of justice. Today's guilty plea shows our vigilance and determination to prosecute those who damage the integrity of elections by masking the true sources of campaign contributions," O'Neil said.

"Chatwal's scheme sought to subvert the very purpose of the Election Act. Chatwal then rolled the dice to stymie the government's investigation, thinking he could corruptly convince witnesses to his federal election crimes to stay silent. That gamble did not pay off," said US Attorney Loretta Lynch.

The Washington Post said Chatwal faces a maximum of nearly six years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31. He is free on a $750,000 bond secured by property in Manhattan.

A spokesman for Chatwal said he "deeply regrets his actions and accepts full responsibility for the consequences." Chatwal was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his role in the historic India-US civilian nuclear deal. He heads the chain of the upscale Hampshire Hotels.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Georgia appeals court rules ‘upskirting’ not against the law
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome