iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Earlier this week on Tuesday, June 29, a former Indian American candidate for the US House of Representatives in the 3rd Congressional District was arrested on charges of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act and false statements.
Abhijit Das, a/k/a “Beej,” 47, of North Andover, was indicted on one count of accepting excessive campaign contributions, one count of conduit contributions, one count of conversion of campaign funds, one count of engaging in a scheme to falsify, conceal, and cover up material facts and two counts of making a false statement.
“Das allegedly solicited illegal campaign donations, used the money for his own business expenses and debts, and then attempted to conceal his actions,” said Nathaniel R. Mendell, acting United States attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
“We arrested Abhijit Das for allegedly soliciting his friends and family for at least $125,000 in illegal campaign contributions, repeatedly dipping into his campaign coffers to pay outstanding debts related to his hotel business, and falsifying campaign finance reports to try and cover his tracks,”
“Campaigns funds are governed by strict federal rules so political contributions aren’t used as personal slush funds, among other reasons,” said Ramsey E. Covington, Boston Field Office Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division.
In order to overcome a fundraising deficit, Das allegedly devised a scheme in or about December 2017 to solicit personal loans from friends and close associates in excess of the legal limit.
The indictment further alleges that Das caused three different individuals to contribute approximately $125,000 to his campaign and structured the contributions as personal loans to a family member to circumvent Federal Election Commission (FEC) reporting requirement and contribution limits.
Das allegedly concealed the excessive campaign contributions from the FEC, falsely claimed that the funds from the excessive contributions were his own personal funds and engaged in illegal conduit contributions to his campaign.
In addition, the indictment also alleges that between January and May 2018, Das withdrew approximately $314,500 in funds from his campaign account and used at least $267,000 of these funds to pay outstanding debts for his hotel business relating to vendors, the hotel’s yacht and real estate taxes unrelated to his congressional campaign.