The former owner of a Washington-based company was sentenced to Thursday for his role in funneling more than $600,000 from a Mexican millionaire into the 2012 mayoral election in San Diego.
Ravneet Singh, 45, a political consultant and former CEO of ElectionMall Technologies was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
Singh, conspired with Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, 53, his son Edward Susumo, 25, and others to funnel thousands of dollars of cash to campaigns for Bonnie Dumanis and Bob Filner, according to evidence presented at trial.
Singh also offered $267,000 worth of in-kind consulting services to the campaigns.
According to the U.S. District Attorney's office, in return, Azano wanted support for a waterfront development project in San Diego with luxury bayside condominiums, a yacht marina, and a five-star hotel.
But Azano's foreign national status made such contributions to the campaigns illegal.
Singh concealed Azano's contributions structuring wires from a Mexican company owned by Azano to a company he owned.
"Using a series of complex financial transactions, Mr. Singh conspired to funnel illegal money to influence the outcome of San Diego political races," stated Special Agent in Charge R. Damon Rowe of IRS Criminal Investigation.
Filner won the election was later forced to resign.
"American elections are not for sale. We will not allow our sacred electoral process to be compromised. This prison sentence underscores an important message: anyone who tries to manipulate the American electorate will pay a high price," said Executive U.S. Attorney Blair Perez.
In Sept. 2016, Azano was convicted of more than 30 charges including conspiracy, campaign finance violations, falsification of records and bribery.
Singh will need to report to prison on Oct. 1.2 to begin serving his sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.