The feds today busted a New Jersey man for allegedly steering illegal contributions to city Comptroller John Liu.
Xing Wu Pan is accused of using phantom or “straw” donors to conceal illegal contributions that that exceeded limits for citywide office, according to the complaint filed by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara and New York FBI Director Janice Fedarcyk.
Pan is charged with attempted wire fraud and conspiracy.
The alleged scam worked in two ways: it allowed for money to be directly funneled into Liu’s campaign and it also entitled Liu to qualify for taxpayer matching funds to fatten his campaign kitty, the complaint said.
The federal complaint said Pan, 46, of Jersey City, and co-conspirators used 20 straw donors to funnel $16,000 to Liu’s campaign – or four times the $4,950 individual limit allowed for citywide campaigns.
The man Pan received $16,000 from was an undercover FBI agent, who spoke to him in English and Mandarin during recorded conversations.
Pan promised the agent a personal meeting with the candidate, believed to be Liu, who is described as a candidate for citywide office in 2013.