Babulal Bera Sentenced To One-Year Prison Term For Admitted Illegal Contributions

Babulal Bera, father of Congressman Dr. Ami Bera (D - Elk Grove) was sentenced to a one-year and one-day prison term today for his role in illegally funneling contributions to his son's Congressional campaign.

In May, the elder Bera, 83, admitted in Federal Court that he illegally funneled $270,000 to his son's 2010 and 2012 campaigns. Bera reimbursed individual donors who made contributions thereby exceeding the personal contribution limits.

In addition to the sentence, a $100,000 fine was imposed. Bera could be released after serving 10 months of the sentence.

At the time of the May indictment, Congressman Bera said he had no knowledge of his father's illegal fundraising activities. Federal investigators have said there is no evidence the second-term Congressman was aware of his father's payback scheme.

As one of the most competitive Congressional districts in the country, Bera's Republican challenger is Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. Although he lost to incumbent Dan Lungren in 2010, he beat Lungren and former Congressman Doug Ose by narrow margins in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

In reaction to the verdict, the National Republican Congressional Committee regional press secretary Zach Hunter issued a statement implying the Congressman was aware of the scheme.

"According to 'a retired FBI agent who worked on high-profile public corruption probes' it 'defies reasoning' that Ami Bera wouldn’t have known something was amiss," Hunter said in a statement. "We agree." The Bera campaign has not released a statement regarding the sentencing.



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