Updated 11/16/2011 11:02 PM
Comptroller Liu Hit With Fundraising Scandal
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John Liu's 2013 campaign is once again in hot water.
A fundraiser for Liu was accused of wire fraud on Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Xing Wu Pan, also known as Oliver Pan, was approached by an undercover FBI agent in august asking to donate $16,000 to the Liu campaign.
The donation would be more than three times the legal city contribution limit of $4,950.
Pan said he would set up a series of straw donors to get the money to Liu. Straw donors contribute in their own name but do so with other people’s money.
Some of those contributions would have applied for public matching funds.
In response, Liu said in a statement, "I am saddened by what I read today. If it is true then the conduct was clearly wrong and my campaign was not told the truth."
This is just the latest scandal to hit Liu. An investigation by The New York Times found some donors denied ever giving to Liu or that they couldn't be found at all. His campaign is also under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Liu is a potential mayoral candidate in 2013. Some experts say it may be too early to count him out.
"We really don't know enough yet to be able to say. It could run the gamut from a speed bump to a brick wall," said David Birdsell of Baruch College.
In addition to the investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office, John Liu is also accused of failing to provide the names of people who collected contributions for him, otherwise known as “bundlers.”
Liu said he has been advised not to disclose the names until January, but when NY1 touched base with the campaign finance board Wednesday, they said nothing would prevent the comptroller from releasing the names Thursday.