Hillary, Truth Not At Peace Over $850,000 Said Refunded [Update: Feds File Charges]
I've been musing over whether the $850,000 in Norman Hsu-bundled contributions Hillary Clinton pledged to return to donors 10 days ago would wind up being too high or too low. On the one hand, she might be overshooting in order to sweep up every red cent that might possibly have been intermediated by Hsu, leading to an overestimate. On the other hand, she might be undershooting simply to limit the financial and PR fallout (despite it being wholly out of character for the normally forthright and transparent Clintons to try to pull a fast one on us - at least once published reports render that impossible). Some of her colleagues seem to be lowballing their Hsu estimates, so why not Hillary?
Of course the actual amount Hillary refunded is little more than an academic exercise, since the campaign announced (to wide stupefaction) that it would ask the Hsu-connected "donors" to return their refunds to Senator Clinton immediately.
But now it seems Clinton may never have intended to refund all of its Hsu-connected money in the first place, judging by an e-mail sent in by a reader just this morning.
I thought you might be interested in learning that contrary to a statement by Howard Wolfson on September 10th 2007 “an estimated 260 donors this week will receive refunds totaling approximately $850,000 from the campaign” this money still has not been returned – at least not to me. I know this because I was a donor who had my arm twisted to make a contribution to Hillary Clinton’s campaign on behalf of Norman Hsu and I haven’t seen a dime returned. It’s very easy to see my contribution as I completed a form which had “Hillary for President” at the top and “Contact/Code, if any: Norman Hsu” at the bottom. I made the donation through American Express making it easy to trace and easy to return.
After three calls to the Hillary Campaign (703 469 2008) no one knew who was responsible for returning these donations. Now that seems strange as the press appear to believe Howard Wolfson is a senior representative of the Clinton campaign as they quote him frequently. It seems to me that if Hillary Clinton cannot deliver on the small things how can we believe she will deliver if she becomes President?
Just a thought but is it worth investigating whether any of the $850,000 has been returned, and to which charity did Hillary Clinton donate the $23,000 she received from Norman Hsu?
Yes it is.
The disclosure filings confirm that the reader in question did contribute $2,300 to Clinton during the current cycle.
So how about it, Senator - it's been 10 days since Wolfson said the refunds would be received "this week". Are the checks in the mail?
Asked about his connection to Hsu, the reader explained he was among the investors in Joel Rosenman's Source Financing Investors, the vehicle that invested $40 million with Hsu in a series of presumably bogus deals. And it sounds like he's not alone among his co-investors in wondering if that refund check is ever going to arrive.
Out of all of us who invested in SFI and were "asked" to contribute to Hillary Clinton's election campaign I have only heard one person say he was told "the check was in the mail" when he called the Hillary Campaign offices to complain. As far as I know he has not received it yet.
I wonder if they'll ever see that money again (their SFI investments or their contributions). Maybe Hillary's having trouble letting go of so much delicious, filthy lucre. Kind of like the trouble she's having trouble letting Hsu go from her official list of HillRaisers.
Update: The reader has e-mailed again to report that Jessica McBroom at the Clinton campaign called this afternoon and told him "the check is in the mail." That's good to hear, though I have to wonder if the less squeaky wheels among those 260 contributors will get their checks as promptly. If the campaign is able to stall for another 10 days, those refund transactions won't be detailed in the October 15th filings and the world will have to wait another three months before getting a look at the list (at which point one might expect the heat on this story to have died down).
Update: Looks like Hsu will be criminally charged with fleecing SFI (perhaps among others) later today. And not just out of $40 million. Press conference at 1 pm.
Criminal charges will be filed in Lower Manhattan Thursday against disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu as part of a $60 million "Ponzi Scheme" that is strikingly similar to another one he allegedly perpetrated in California.
Authorities say the charges against the 56-year-old Hsu stem from money he took from a New York investment group in nonexistent business deals with the likes of Nordstrom, L.L. Bean and Abercrombie & Fitch.
U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and FBI officials are expected to further discuss the charges at a 1 p.m. news conference.
(HT: The Freepers)
Update: The press conference is underway. Sounds like the federales have Hsu dead to rights. Some highlights:
- Hsu is charged with perpetrating a "massive investment fraud" upon victims nationwide, in a classic Ponzi scheme (i.e. a pyramid scheme in which the assets involved are cash, as distinct from stocks, real estate, or other holdings).
- He is also charged with using individuals (including some of his alleged investment fraud victims) as "straw donors", instructing them to make political contributions to specific candidates, then reimbursing them in order to circumvent campaign finance laws.
- The charges were unsealed earlier today, clearing the way for federal investigators to seize 4 bank accounts used by Hsu in these activities.
- The early investors in Hsu's pyramid received their principal investment back plus their "guaranteed returns", encouraging them to recruit friends and associates to invest with Hsu. A number of seed investors even formed whole new funds (this may be explain the recent creation of Rosenman's Source Financing Investors) strictly to invest with Hsu's companies - Components, Ltd. and Next Components, Ltd., neither of which appear to have conducted any legitimate business activity.
- The charges allege Hsu pressured his investment fraud victims into making contributions to political candidates, in some cases with their own funds and in others cases on behalf of Hsu, who would later reimburse the donors.
- This past Monday, a search of the items recovered during Hsu's arrest in Grand Junction revealed a laptop, a Blackberry, thousands of dollars in cash, hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks from alleged victims, bank receipts showing millions of dollars in Hsu's accounts, and hand-written ledgers detailing the many illegal contributions that authorities say Hsu instructed his straw donors to make.
Hot Air will likely have the video eventually.
Handcrafted by Flip on September 20, 2007 |
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