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Dartmouth grad D'Souza pleads guilty to campaign finance violation

Staff Report
May 24. 2014 6:43PM

Dinesh D'Souza, a conservative scholar and Dartmouth College graduate, pleaded guilty last Tuesday to one criminal count of paying others to contribute to the campaign of Wendy Long, a New York Republican who launched an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2012 against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

D'Souza, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1983, pleaded guilty on the day he was scheduled to go to trial. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 23.

The campaign finance law D'Souza violated bars individuals from contributing more than $5,000 to federal candidates.

In court documents, prosecutors allege that in August 2012, D'Souza arranged for two acquaintances to donate $10,000 each to Long's campaign, with the understanding he would reimburse them.

Prosecutors claimed that amounted to a $20,000 contribution by D'Souza, exceeding the $5,000 limit.

D'Souza's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, issued a statement following the plea saying he was hopeful the judge "will recognize Mr. D'Souza to be a fundamentally honorable man who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive life."

Appearing on "The Kelly File" on FOX News Tuesday night, D'Souza said he faced two charges last week.

The first was that he exceeded campaign finance limits, with the second being he caused the Election Commission to file a false report, which carries a maximum of five years in prison.

"I pleaded guilty to the charge of exceeding the campaign finance limits and the government agreed to drop the second charge," D'Souza told host Megyn Kelly.

Long, who met D'Souza while at The Dartmouth Review in the 1980s, was not a target of the investigation.

D'Souza took part in a debate, titled "What's So Great About America?" at Dartmouth College in January with 1960s-era antiwar activist Bill Ayers.

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