On the heels of reports that the feds are investigating City Comptroller John Liu's questionable campaign finances, now the NY Times reports a man who has raised money for Liu has been arrested for fraud: "The charges against the man, Xing Wu Pan, do not mention Mr. Liu, but say that Mr. Pan served as a bundler — or person who gathers donations from a group of contributors — for a citywide candidate in New York for the 2013 election. A person briefed on the matter said the candidate was Mr. Liu."
According to the Times, someone allegedly told Pan that "they wanted to donate $16,000 to the candidate, far in excess of the city-imposed limit of $4,950 for individual contributions. Mr. Pan, according to the charges, sought to send the money to Mr. Liu’s campaign by using 20 straw donors — people who are recorded in campaign finance documents as giving to a candidate but actually serve as conduits for money from an unseen large donor, the person said." That someone was an undercover with the FBI.
Previously, when questions were raised about Liu's fundraising prowess (he has over $1 million, which would likely go toward a mayoral campaign in 2013), his team has accused critics of, as WNYC puts it, "thinly veiled racism." Now, Liu has an attorney looking at his donor lists and told the Times on Monday, I am confident that my fund-raising efforts were proper at all times." We contacted Comptroller Liu's office for a comment about Pan's arrest and was told we would receive something later.