The owner of a Washington, D.C.-based campaign firm and a former San Diego police detective are accused of conspiring with a foreign national to illegally inject more than $500,000 into San Diego political races, including the 2012 mayoral contest, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ravneet Singh, 41, founder of ElectionMall Inc., was arrested Friday by FBI agents and is charged alongside his company and Ernesto Encinas, 57, the former detective, with conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States. According to Tuesday’s complaint, Singh and Encinas helped a Mexican businessman donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to San Diego candidates. Under federal law, foreign nationals are prohibited from making contributions to election campaigns in the United States at any level.
Singh and Encinas allegedly used “a series of increasingly complex techniques” to conceal that the campaign funds were coming from the foreign national, such as using shell companies and a straw man as donors. The charges could just be the beginning of a major scandal as the complaint lists several other unnamed players, including the straw donor and at least four local politicians.
The complaint identified the political candidates involved only by number — 1 through 4. A confidential source close to the investigation told U-T San Diego that Candidate 1 is San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Candidate 3 is former Mayor Bob Filner and Candidate 4 is former mayoral contender Nathan Fletcher. The source didn’t know who Candidate 2 was, although the complaint said the candidate ran for federal office in 2012.
Full Article: Feds: Illegal money funneled to SD pols | UTSanDiego.com.