A federal prosecutor says City Comptroller John Liu had to have known that two of his associates conducted the straw donor scheme that landed them in handcuffs.
Manhattan US Attorney Justin Anderson told jurors on Tuesday that secret recordings prove that Liu’s fundraiser Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan used code words to tell his boss that $16,000 in contributions actually came from a businessman named Richard Kong, the New York Post reports.
Kong was an undercover FBI agent.
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“You know from the assurances that Mr. Pan gave ‘Richard’ that it would defeat the whole purpose of the straw-donor scheme if the candidate doesn’t know where the money’s coming from,” Anderson told the jury.
Anderson’s statements were part of the closing arguments at the trial of Pan and Liu’s campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou. The two were arrested separately more than a year ago and are accused of using straw donors to funnel money into Liu’s campaign.
The prosecutor said Liu knew that the money collected at an August 2011 fundraiser came from “Richard Kong.”
“When I say it’s your event, John Liu knows what that means. He knows that it’s your money,” Anderson read from a transcript recorded by the undercover agent.
Hou also knew the “code” and was in on the scheme, Anderson added.
Liu has not been charged in the case. A lawyer for Liu said there is no evidence that proves the comptroller knew of any wrongdoing connected to the campaign, according to the Post.