Fri, 26 Feb 2021 Today's Paper

US jails lobbying agent recruited by Sri Lanka

23 February 2021 04:56 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A US court has jailed a venture capitalist and political fundraiser who was recruited by Sri Lanka in 2014 to rehabilitate the country’s image in the United States.

The US Department of Justice said that Imaad Shah Zuberi was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison for falsifying records to conceal his work as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level U.S. government officials, evading the payment of millions of dollars in taxes, making illegal campaign contributions, and obstructing a federal investigation into the source of donations to a presidential inauguration committee.

In November 2019, Zuberi pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by making false statements on a FARA filing, tax evasion, and making illegal campaign contributions. In June 2020, Zuberi pleaded guilty in a separate case to one count of obstruction of justice.

“Mr. Zuberi flouted federal laws that restrict foreign influences upon our government and prohibit injecting foreign money into our political campaigns. He enriched himself by defrauding his clients and evading the payment of taxes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison for the Central District of California.

Zuberi operated Avenue Ventures LLC, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, and solicited foreign nationals and representatives of foreign governments with claims he could use his contacts in Washington, D.C., to change U.S. foreign policy and create business opportunities for his clients and himself.

US Justice Department documents noted that Sri Lanka hired Zuberi in 2014 to rehabilitate the country’s image in the United States, which had suffered because of allegations that its minority Tamil population had been persecuted.(EASWARAN RUTNAM)

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  Comments - 6

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  • Borat Tuesday, 23 February 2021 08:23 AM

    Check who recruited him and see how much the fixer made

    Tax Payer Tuesday, 23 February 2021 09:53 AM

    There are culprits in Sri Lanka who were involved and supposedly taken for a ride. The loss is our tax payers money. How do we recover this ?

    citizen Tuesday, 23 February 2021 10:14 AM

    Whose money went down the drain?

    City Tuesday, 23 February 2021 10:51 AM

    Sajin vaas ....were are you?

    vithura Tuesday, 23 February 2021 05:31 PM

    So they have got the tail, what next?

    Punchi Banda Tuesday, 23 February 2021 05:38 PM

    No need of this Muslim man. Buddha can be invoked to do lobby the Christian US for free


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