U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of New York
(718) 254-7000
September 3, 2014

Texas-Based Political Contributor Pleads Guilty to Evading Federal Election Campaign Contribution Limits

Earlier today, Diana Durand pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by funneling campaign contributions through “straw donors” to the campaign committees of two candidates running for federal office. The guilty plea proceeding was held before Senior United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY.

The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Office (FBI).

The defendant admitted to the Court that during the 2010 election cycle, she recruited “straw donors” who made political campaign contributions in excess of $10,000 to the campaign committees of two candidates for the House of Representatives, who are identified in the indictment as Candidate A and Candidate B. The defendant also admitted that in furtherance of this criminal activity, she either made advance payments to the straw donors who made the contributions, or reimbursed them after they made the contributions.

United States Attorney Lynch stated: “We and our partners in the FBI are committed to protecting the integrity of the electoral process and will aggressively pursue anyone who attempts to circumvent federal campaign financing laws. Enforcement of these laws ensures that all candidates compete on a level playing field and that the public knows the true source of a candidate’s campaign funds.”

Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice for its assistance throughout the investigation and prosecution of Durand.

The maximum term of imprisonment for the crime to which Durand pleaded guilty is two years.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony M. Capozzolo, Robert L. Capers, and Marisa Megur Seifan.

The Defendant:

DIANA DURAND Houston, Texas Age: 48

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