1996 U.S. campaign finance scandal
The 1996 United States campaign finance controversy was an alleged effort by the People's Republic of China to influence domestic United States politics during the 1996 federal elections. The Chinese government denied all accusations. Twenty-two people were eventually convicted of fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the United States elections, and others fled U.S. jurisdiction.
In late 1996, the Justice Department opened a task force to investigate allegations of illegal donations to the Clinton/Gore re-election campaign and to Clinton's legal defense fund. Ultimately, Justice Department prosecutors secured the conviction of several fund-raisers for various offenses. John Huang served 500 hours of community service and paid a $10,000 fine. Johnny Chung served 3000 hours of community service. Charlie Trie served four months of in-home detention. Maria Hsia served 90 days of home detention and paid a $5,300 fine. Indonesian billionaire James Riady was fined $8.6 million. Ernest Green served three months home detention. Michael Brown served 150 hours of community service and paid a $5000 fine. In all, the Justice Department task force secured criminal convictions against 22 people by 2001.
- "Justice To Expand Inquiry To Clinton's Legal Fund", CNN.com, Dec. 19, 1996
- Ernest G. Green Pleads Guilty to Tax Violations, Department of Justice, press release, Dec. 21, 2001, Retrieved: April 14, 2006