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Date: 10-15-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. James Tong

Case Number: 4:17-cr-00474-JST

Judge: Jon A. Tigar

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Amanda R. Vaughn, Rebecca G. Ross and W. Wagar Hasib

Defendant's Attorney:


Call 888-354-4529 if you need help finding a making and causing campaign contributions in the name of another criminal defense lawyer in Oakland, California


Description:




San Francisco, CA - California Real Estate Developer Convicted Of Making Conduit Contributions In Two U.S. Congressional Campaigns

A federal jury found Oakland area real estate developer James Tong guilty for funneling tens of thousands of dollars through straw donors into two consecutive congressional campaigns for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The verdict came down today after an 8-day trial before the Hon. Jon S. Tigar, United States District Judge.

Tong, 74, of Fremont, Calif., was found guilty of two counts of making contributions to a federal campaign in the name of other individuals. According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2012 and 2013 Tong used two primary straw donors as recruiters for his scheme. Tong gave thousands of dollars in cash to his chosen middlemen and instructed them to recruit straw donors to write checks to a candidate who was running for office in the U.S. House of Representatives. Tong induced the individuals to distribute cash in the community to be donated to the initial and reelection campaigns of the candidate. The network of straw donors included dozens of conduits who agreed to write checks in exchange for a commensurate amount of cash sourced from Tong. Tong provided envelopes of cash to the two intermediaries and directed them to reimburse individuals for their contributions. Tong also directed an intermediary to conceal the scheme by instructing the conduits not to deposit the cash and later directed the intermediary to withhold information from the FBI after he was interviewed. Evidence at trial demonstrated that members of the campaign, including the candidate, were unaware of the defendant’s illegal contribution scheme.

On August 31, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Tong charging him with two counts of making and causing campaign contributions in the name of another, in violation of 52 U.S.C. §§ 30122 and 30109(d)(1)(D). The jury found Tong guilty of both counts.


Charges:


52:30122 and 30109(d)(1)(D) - Making and Causing Campaign Contributions in the Name of Another
(1)
52:30122 and 30109(d)(1)(D) - Making and Causing Campaign Contributions in the Name of Another
(2)




Judge Tigar scheduled Tong’s sentencing for Dec. 13. Tong faces a maximum statutory penalty of two years in prison and 1000% of the amount involved in the violation for each count.

The FBI conducted the investigation.


Charges:


§30117. Modification of certain limits for House candidates in response to personal fund expenditures of opponents
(a) Availability of increased limit
(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (3), if the opposition personal funds amount with respect to a candidate for election to the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress exceeds $350,000—

(A) the limit under subsection (a)(1)(A) 1 with respect to the candidate shall be tripled;

(B) the limit under subsection (a)(3) 1 shall not apply with respect to any contribution made with respect to the candidate if the contribution is made under the increased limit allowed under subparagraph (A) during a period in which the candidate may accept such a contribution; and

(C) the limits under subsection (d) 1 with respect to any expenditure by a State or national committee of a political party on behalf of the candidate shall not apply.
(2) Determination of opposition personal funds amount
(A) In general

The opposition personal funds amount is an amount equal to the excess (if any) of—

(i) the greatest aggregate amount of expenditures from personal funds (as defined in subsection (b)(1)) that an opposing candidate in the same election makes; over

(ii) the aggregate amount of expenditures from personal funds made by the candidate with respect to the election.
(B) Special rule for candidate's campaign funds
(i) In general

For purposes of determining the aggregate amount of expenditures from personal funds under subparagraph (A), such amount shall include the gross receipts advantage of the candidate's authorized committee.
(ii) Gross receipts advantage

For purposes of clause (i), the term "gross receipts advantage" means the excess, if any, of—

(I) the aggregate amount of 50 percent of gross receipts of a candidate's authorized committee during any election cycle (not including contributions from personal funds of the candidate) that may be expended in connection with the election, as determined on June 30 and December 31 of the year preceding the year in which a general election is held, over

(II) the aggregate amount of 50 percent of gross receipts of the opposing candidate's authorized committee during any election cycle (not including contributions from personal funds of the candidate) that may be expended in connection with the election, as determined on June 30 and December 31 of the year preceding the year in which a general election is held.
(3) Time to accept contributions under increased limit
(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), a candidate and the candidate's authorized committee shall not accept any contribution, and a party committee shall not make any expenditure, under the increased limit under paragraph (1)—

(i) until the candidate has received notification of the opposition personal funds amount under subsection (b)(1); and

(ii) to the extent that such contribution, when added to the aggregate amount of contributions previously accepted and party expenditures previously made under the increased limits under this subsection for the election cycle, exceeds 100 percent of the opposition personal funds amount.
(B) Effect of withdrawal of an opposing candidate

A candidate and a candidate's authorized committee shall not accept any contribution and a party shall not make any expenditure under the increased limit after the date on which an opposing candidate ceases to be a candidate to the extent that the amount of such increased limit is attributable to such an opposing candidate.
(4) Disposal of excess contributions
(A) In general

The aggregate amount of contributions accepted by a candidate or a candidate's authorized committee under the increased limit under paragraph (1) and not otherwise expended in connection with the election with respect to which such contributions relate shall, not later than 50 days after the date of such election, be used in the manner described in subparagraph (B).
(B) Return to contributors

A candidate or a candidate's authorized committee shall return the excess contribution to the person who made the contribution.
(b) Notification of expenditures from personal funds
(1) In general
(A) Definition of expenditure from personal funds

In this paragraph, the term "expenditure from personal funds" means—

(i) an expenditure made by a candidate using personal funds; and

(ii) a contribution or loan made by a candidate using personal funds or a loan secured using such funds to the candidate's authorized committee.
(B) Declaration of intent

Not later than the date that is 15 days after the date on which an individual becomes a candidate for the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress, the candidate shall file a declaration stating the total amount of expenditures from personal funds that the candidate intends to make, or to obligate to make, with respect to the election that will exceed $350,000.
(C) Initial notification

Not later than 24 hours after a candidate described in subparagraph (B) makes or obligates to make an aggregate amount of expenditures from personal funds in excess of $350,000 in connection with any election, the candidate shall file a notification.
(D) Additional notification

After a candidate files an initial notification under subparagraph (C), the candidate shall file an additional notification each time expenditures from personal funds are made or obligated to be made in an aggregate amount that exceeds $10,000. Such notification shall be filed not later than 24 hours after the expenditure is made.
(E) Contents

A notification under subparagraph (C) or (D) shall include—

(i) the name of the candidate and the office sought by the candidate;

(ii) the date and amount of each expenditure; and

(iii) the total amount of expenditures from personal funds that the candidate has made, or obligated to make, with respect to an election as of the date of the expenditure that is the subject of the notification.
(F) Place of filing

Each declaration or notification required to be filed by a candidate under subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) shall be filed with—

(i) the Commission; and

(ii) each candidate in the same election and the national party of each such candidate.
(2) Notification of disposal of excess contributions

In the next regularly scheduled report after the date of the election for which a candidate seeks nomination for election to, or election to, Federal office, the candidate or the candidate's authorized committee shall submit to the Commission a report indicating the source and amount of any excess contributions (as determined under subsection (a)) and the manner in which the candidate or the candidate's authorized committee used such funds.
(3) Enforcement

For provisions providing for the enforcement of the reporting requirements under this subsection, see section 30109 of this title.

Outcome: 10/01/2019 154 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on September 26, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/30/2019. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/1/2019) (Entered: 10/01/2019)
10/01/2019 155 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Jury Trial as to James Tong held on 10/1/2019. Juror #4 is excused for cause and replaced by Alternate #1. Although the Court does not hold trial on Fridays under normal circumstances, trial will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019. Motion for Mistrial argued and DENIED for reasons as stated on the record. Jury Trial continued to 10/2/19 at 8:00 AM.

Total Time in Court 5 Hours 32 Minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado.

Plaintiff Attorney: S. Hasib, Amanda Vaughn, Jason Jones, Rebecca Ross. Defendant Attorney: Annie Beles, Steve Gruel, Jason Campbell. Defendant Present: Yes. Defendant in Custody: No. Interpreter: Kasie Cheung. Language: Mandarin Attachment Trial Log. This is a text only docket entry. There is no document associated with this entry. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/1/2019) Modified on 10/4/2019 (mllS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/02/2019)
10/02/2019 Set/Reset Hearing as to Defendant James Tong re 155 Jury Trial, Jury Trial set for 10/4/2019 8:00 AM in Oakland, Courtroom 6, 2nd Floor before Judge Jon S. Tigar. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/2/2019) (Entered: 10/02/2019)
10/02/2019 156 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Jury Trial as to James Tong held on 10/2/2019. Jury trial continued to 10/3/19 at 8:00AM.

Total Time in Court 5 Hours 29 Minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado.

Plaintiff Attorney: S. Hasib, Amanda Vaughn, Jason Jones, Rebecca Ross. Defendant Attorney: Annie Beles, Steve Gruel, Jason Campbell. Defendant Present: yes. Defendant in Custody: no. Interpreter: Kasie Cheung and Amanda Peters. Language: Mandarin and CantoneseAttachment Trial Log. This is a text only docket entry. There is no document associated with this entry. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/2/2019) Modified on 10/4/2019 (mllS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/02/2019)
10/03/2019 159 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Jury Trial as to James Tong held on 10/3/2019. Jury Trial continued to 10/4/19 at 8:00 AM.

Total Time in Court 5 Hours 34 Minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado.

Plaintiff Attorney: S. Hasib, Amanda Vaughn, Jason Jones, Rebecca Ross. Defendant Attorney: Annie Beles, Steve Gruel, Jason Campbell. Defendant Present: Yes. Defendant in Custody: No. Interpreter: Kasie Cheung. Language: Mandarin and CantoneseAttachment Trial Log. This is a text only docket entry. There is no document associated with this entry.(mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2019) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
10/04/2019 157 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on October 1, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/2/2020. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/4/2019) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
10/04/2019 158 Letter from AFPD Graham Archer to The Honorable Donna M. Ryu as to James Tong (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Archer, Graham) (Filed on 10/4/2019) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
10/04/2019 160 CJA 23 Financial Affidavit by James Tong (jlmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2019) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
10/04/2019 161 ORDER APPOINTING FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER as to James Tong. Signed by Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu on 10/03/19. (jlmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2019) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
10/04/2019 164 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Jury Trial as to James Tong held on 10/4/2019. Jury trial continued to 10/7/19 at 8am.

Total Time in Court 1 hour 45 minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado.

Plaintiff Attorney: S. Hasib, Amanda Vaughn, Jason Jones, Rebecca Ross. Defendant Attorney: Annie Beles, Steve Gruel, Jason Campbell. Defendant Present: yes. Defendant in Custody: no. Attachment Trial Log. This is a text only docket entry. There is no document associated with this entry.(mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2019) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
10/07/2019 162 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on October 2, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/6/2020. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/7/2019) (Entered: 10/07/2019)
10/07/2019 163 ORDER FOR JURY MEALS DURING DELIBERATIONS. Signed by Judge Jon S. Tigar on October 7, 2019. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/7/2019) (Entered: 10/07/2019)
10/07/2019 165 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Jury Trial as to James Tong held on 10/7/2019. Juror #10 has been discharged from the Jury. Alternate #2 replaces Juror #10. Defendants Rule 29 motion argued and denied for reasons as stated on the record. Jury Trial continued to 10/8/19 at 8am.

Total Time in Court 5 hours 18 minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado. Plaintiff Attorney: S. Hasib, Amanda Vaughn, Jason Jones, Rebecca Ross. Defendant Attorney: Annie Beles, Steve Gruel, Jason Campbell.

Defendant Present: yes. Defendant in Custody: no. Interpreter: Kasie Cheung. Language: Mandarin and CantoneseAttachment Trial Log. This is a text only docket entry. There is no document associated with this entry.(mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/7/2019) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
10/08/2019 166 Transcript of Electronically Recorded Proceedings as to James Tong held on September 11, 2017, before Judge Kandis A. Westmore. Transcriber Raynee H. Mercado, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Tape Number: 2:46 p.m.- 3:21 p.m.. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Transcriber until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 11/21/2019. (Related document(s) 103 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/8/2019) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
10/08/2019 167 ORDER REGARDING PRE-SENTENCING SUPERVISION as to James Tong. Passport due by 10/9/2019 by 4:00 PM. Signed by Judge Jon S. Tigar on October 8, 2019. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/8/2019) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
10/08/2019 170 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Jury Trial as to James Tong held on 10/8/2019. Sentencing set for 12/13/2019 9:30 AM in Oakland, Courtroom 6, 2nd Floor before Judge Jon S. Tigar.

Total Time in Court 6 hours 29 minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado.

Plaintiff Attorney: S. Hasib, Amanda Vaughn, Jason Jones, Rebecca Ross. Defendant Attorney: Annie Beles, Steve Gruel, Jason Campbell. Defendant Present: Yes. Defendant in Custody: No. Attachment Trial Log. This is a text only docket entry. There is no document associated with this entry.(mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/8/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/08/2019 171 Jury Instructions as to James Tong. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/8/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/08/2019 172 Jury Notes as to James Tong. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/8/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/08/2019 173 JURY VERDICT as to James Tong (1). Guilty on Count(s): 1 and 2. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/8/2019) Modified on 10/10/2019 (jlmS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 168 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on October 3, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/7/2020. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 169 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on October 4, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/7/2020. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 174 MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO PRODUCE DEFENDANT TONGS PASSPORT AND DECLARATION OF STEVEN F. GRUEL IN SUPPORT THEREOF by James Tong. (Gruel, Steven) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 175 ORDER
The United States is ordered to file a response to Defendant James Tong's motion for additional time to produce Defendant Tong's passport, ECF No. 174, by 3:00 p.m. today. The Court will conduct a hearing on the motion at 4:00 p.m. today. Defendant James Tong is ordered to be personally present at the hearing.
(Entered by Judge Jon S. Tigar) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 Set/Reset Motion and Deadlines/Hearings as to Defendant James Tong re 174 MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO PRODUCE DEFENDANT TONGS PASSPORT AND DECLARATION OF STEVEN F. GRUEL IN SUPPORT THEREOF Motion Hearing set for 10/9/2019 04:00 PM in Oakland, Courtroom 6, 2nd Floor before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Per order 175 . (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 176 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on October 7, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/7/2020. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 177 Transcript of Proceedings as to James Tong held on October 8, 2019, before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Court Reporter Raynee H. Mercado, CSR, telephone number 510-565-7228, cacsr8258@gmail.com. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerk's Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/7/2020. (Related document(s) 119 , 128 ) (rhm) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 178 RESPONSE to Motion by USA as to James Tong re 174 MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO PRODUCE DEFENDANT TONGS PASSPORT AND DECLARATION OF STEVEN F. GRUEL IN SUPPORT THEREOF (Hasib, S.) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/09/2019)
10/09/2019 179 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jon S. Tigar: Motion Hearing as to James Tong held on 10/9/2019 re 174 MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO PRODUCE DEFENDANT TONGS PASSPORT AND DECLARATION OF STEVEN F. GRUEL IN SUPPORT THEREOF filed by James Tong. Motion Granted. Defendant must surrender Passport by 10/15/2019 by 4:00 PM.

Total Time in Court 4 minutes. Court Reporter: Raynee Mercado.

Plaintiff Attorney: Thomas Green for Waqar Hasib. Defendant Attorney: Steve Gruel. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/9/2019) (Entered: 10/10/2019)
10/10/2019 180 ORDER RE DEFENDANT'S PASSPORT as to James Tong re 179 Motion Hearing. Signed by Judge Jon S. Tigar on October 10, 2019. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/10/2019) (Entered: 10/10/2019)

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

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