Lawyer for Liu Fundraiser Seeks Dismissal of Charges
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Citing misconduct by the government, lawyers for one of John Liu’s top fundraisers will ask a judge to dismiss all charges of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Xing Wu "Oliver" Pan, 46, pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally funneling campaign contributions for City Comptroller and 2013 mayoral candidate John Liu.
On Tuesday, his lawyer Irwin Rochman told Judge Richard J. Sullivan that he will ask that the charges to be dismissed. Rochman argued that the government tried to pressure Pan into helping them "manufacture a criminal case" against Liu.
While Rochman told WNYC that he could not discuss the specifics of the misconduct allegations, he said that the charge would be substantiated in a motion to be filed by September. 10. Rochman made similar allegations in a February court appearance.
A spokeswoman for the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.
The charges against Pan stem from an FBI investigation where an undercover agent gave Pan a $16,000 campaign contribution. New York campaign law limits individual donations to $4,950, but prosecutors claim Pan planned to bypass the limit by using "straw donors" who would have used the agent's money to donate in their own name.
Pan's co-defendant and former campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou, 25, also pleaded not guilty, but her lawyer expressed different concerns with the court on Tuesday. Hou lawyer Gerald B. Lefcourt told the judge that her defense team needs more time to review the electronic communications and more than 1,000 wiretapped conversations used gathered by the prosecutors.
While Rochman's motion will be heard in September, the trials against both Pan and Hou are expected to begin on Feb. 4, 2013.