A Los Angeles financier who donated $900,000 to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee has admitted to falsifying records to hide his work as a foreign agent while he lobbied prominent U.S. government officials, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Shah Zuberi, 49, also known as “Imaad Zuberi,” has agreed to plead guilty to three counts in a criminal information for allegedly making almost $1 million in illegal campaign contributions, engaging in various lobbying efforts, and evading taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.
“Mr. Zuberi’s multi-faceted scheme allowed him to line his pockets by concealing the fact that he was representing foreign clients, obtaining access for clients by making a long series of illegal contributions, and skimming money paid by his clients,” United States Attorney Nick Hanna said in a press release Tuesday announcing the charges.
“Mr. Zuberi circumvented laws designed to insulate U.S. policy and our election process from foreign intervention.”
Zuberi’s spokesperson declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Zuberi’s name first came into the public arena in February when federal prosecutors in New York issued a sweeping subpoena for President Trump’s Inaugural Committee. Zuberi was the only individual named in the subpoena. Then, in April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Zuberi was involved in a second federal probe in Los Angeles where prosecutors were scrutinizing his relationships with foreign nations.
Prosecutors in California now allege that under the guise of his venture capital firm, Avenue Ventures, Zuberi “solicited foreign nations and representatives of foreign governments” with claims he could change U.S. foreign policy with his “influence in Washington D.C.”
His clients, according to the the criminal information, gave him money for consulting work, investments, and to fund various campaigns. Zuberi then allegedly used the money to hire lobbyists and make campaign contributions—”which gave him access to high-level U.S. officials, some of whom took action in support of his clients,” prosecutors said.
“As evidence of his access and influence, Zuberi distributed to his clients photographs of himself discussing policy with elected officials,” the court documents allege.
The post Imaad Zuberi, Who Donated $900,000 to Trump’s Inaugural Committee, Indicted by Feds appeared first on The Daily Beast.