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Former Mass. congressional candidate convicted of violating marketing campaign legislation

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“He lied to the federal government and to the voters. He abused the marketing campaign finance course of and thought he might get away with it.”

Beej Das, proper, talks to voters on the ISSO Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Lowell in 2018. Erin Clark / The Boston Globe

Former Massachusetts congressional candidate Abhijit “Beej” Das was convicted Friday of violating the Federal Election Marketing campaign Act and making false statements, in keeping with Appearing U.S. Lawyer Joshua S. Levy’s workplace. 

  • Feds arrest former Massachusetts congressional candidate for allegedly utilizing marketing campaign funds to pay resort money owed

Das, who completed seventh within the Democratic main received by Rep. Lori Trahan within the 2017-2018 election, was convicted of 1 depend of accepting extreme marketing campaign contributions, one depend of conduit contributions, one depend of conversion of marketing campaign funds, and two counts of constructing a false assertion.

Prosecutors stated Das, 50, created a scheme to solicit private loans from buddies and shut associates above the quantity allowed by legislation in December 2017.

“Das emailed a contributor asking for a buddy to help his marketing campaign to achieve a particular fundraising objective of over $450,000 by the tip of the yr and indicated that reaching that objective may want ‘some engineering,’” Levy’s workplace stated. “Das suggested a member of his marketing campaign that he would ‘mixture’ the loans into ‘one batch’ and execute a primary switch into the marketing campaign account.”

Authorities say that as well as, Das “precipitated” three completely different individuals to contribute $125,000 to his marketing campaign, structuring the contributions as private loans to a member of the family to bypass Federal Election Fee reporting necessities. 

“Das falsely claimed that the funds from the extreme contributions had been his personal private funds and engaged in unlawful conduit contributions to his marketing campaign,” Levy’s workplace stated. 

As well as, Levy’s workplace stated Das withdrew lots of of 1000’s of {dollars} from his marketing campaign account to pay excellent money owed for his resort enterprise unrelated to his marketing campaign and that he sought to hide these transactions by “instructing financial institution tellers to report the withdrawals as separate withdrawal and deposit transactions, quite than direct transfers.”

“Defending our elections by way of marketing campaign finance legal guidelines is essential in defending transparency and accountability in our authorities and a well-functioning democracy,” Levy stated in an announcement. “Mr. Das illegally solicited and accepted donations, used the cash for a special goal and hid his actions. He lied to the federal government and to the voters. He abused the marketing campaign finance course of and thought he might get away with it. At present’s speedy verdict by the jury after two-weeks of proof ought to ship a powerful message that the sunshine of justice will all the time discover its solution to political candidates who break the legislation.”

Das was arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury in 2021.

Every of the fees Das is dealing with gives for as much as 5 years of jail, three years of supervised launch and a effective of $250,000, or twice the gross acquire or loss, whichever is bigger, in keeping with Levy’s workplace. He’ll return to court docket for sentencing on Jan. 17, 2024.