Key Players in the Campaign Finance Scandal San Diego

See who has been in the spolight of San Diego's recent drama

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    The investigation into the use of funds from outside the U.S. to influence San Diego political elections is full of characters. Some of those involved have been identified by federal prosecutors. Some are still known only as an alias. Still there are others who are believed to be involved according to published reports.

    See who has played a role in the scandal:
     

    Former SDPD detective Ernesto Encinas provided security for Azano. Prosecutors accuse him of arranging illegal campaign contributions in an attempt to get the next mayor to fire Chief William Lansdowne. He pleaded guilty to two felony charges - conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S. and filing a false tax return.

     

     

    Mexico businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura wanted to build a "Miami West" along San Diego's bayfront, prosecutors allege. FBI agents served search warrants on Coronado properties associated with Susumo Azano. Azano pleaded not guilty on Feb. 20 to one count of illegal contributions by a foreign national and was placed on house arrest. 

     

    Ravneet Singh, CEO of Electionmail.com based out of Washington, D.C., was arraigned in federal court on charges of conspiring to influence San Diego political elections with money from outside the U.S.

     

     

    Marco Polo Cortez, San Diego lobbyist and former Chula Vista community leader, was arrested by FBI officials in Little Italy in connection with the alleged conspiracy to influence political officials with illegal campaign donations.

     

     

    La Jolla business owner Marc Chase, the Straw Donor, pleaded guilty to 8 misdemeanor counts including conspiracy to willfully and knowingly contribute funds from a foreign source to a political campaign. Sentencing is scheduled for November 2014.   

      

     

    District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis ran for mayor in 2012. She issued a statement that she was not connected to the committee involved in the illegal campaign contributions then returned campaign contributions from Encinas. She has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

     

     

    U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D) won his seat in 2012. After news of the investigation broke, Vargas returned contributions made to his campaign by Ernesto Encinas. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Vargas designated Encinas as a delegate in the 2012 presidential election. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing.  

     

     

    Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council President who moved into Filner's role immediately following the former mayor's resignation, said he returned contributions made to his 2012 campaign from Encinas. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing. 

      


    City Councilmember David Alvarez returned funds he received from Cortes to help him in his 2013 mayoral campaign.He has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

     

     


    Carl DeMail returned funds he received from Encinas in his bid for San Diego Mayor, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

     

      

    Dave Maas investigated contributions made by Jose Susumo Azano Matsura to San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in an article for San Diego City Beat in 2012. It's been reported that this article alerted federal investigators to the case.

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