Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden's inner circle sentenced to prison

"Purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding"

Published: February 18, 2021 8:53pm

Updated: February 19, 2021 12:55pm

A major Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman, was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O'Brien said Zuberi was "purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding."

Within the recently unsealed court records, was a photo of Zuberi with Joe Biden and Obama when they were, respectively, vice president and president.

He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary, a former Democratic presidential nominee. He took pictures with former GOP House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain before his death.

Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi's activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, "I'm OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks."

Zuberi also attended Hillary Clinton's election night party in New York City in 2016 and served as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a "three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act" for making false statements on a FARA filing and to tax evasion and making illegal contributions to political campaigns.

He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

"Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise," said Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers.

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