The verdict came after 2 ½ hours of deliberations in the criminal trial of Hsu, 58, in federal court in New York. It follows his guilty plea on May 7 to cheating investors out of more than $20 million in a Ponzi scheme, for which he may face 30 years in prison.
Hsu was convicted of four counts of campaign finance fraud in a trial that lasted six days. Defense attorney Alan Seidler said he would appeal the jury’s verdict that Hsu secretly repaid about $98,000 to political donors from 2004 to 2007.
“He was pretty calm, actually,” Seidler said of Hsu as the jury read the verdict.
Prosecutors said Hsu used campaign donations to win accolades from prominent politicians, which he used to lure new investors into his Ponzi scheme. They offered evidence that he made illegal reimbursements to six of his investors who contributed funds to politicians including then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and then-U.S. Representative Harold Ford of Tennessee.
The conviction isn’t surprising, considering his guilty plea, but the headlines on this are sure to give more than a few prominent Democrats (like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Howard Dean) some headaches – for a few hours anyway, until the “news” coverage of this story subsides, which will be in … a few hours.
Unlike it would be with a Republican fundraiser conviction, of course.