A man who engineered an illegal contribution from a foreigner to a joint fundraising committee for President Barack Obama in 2012 was sentenced to four months in prison on September 30.
William Argeros had pleaded guilty in 2016 to making foreign contributions and lying to a grand jury, and had faced up to 24 months in prison under his plea agreement. But U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo noted the 61-year-old’s lack of a prior criminal record and her belief that the $80,000 contribution wasn’t meant to influence the U.S. election.
U.S. law prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions to federal candidates. Attorney John Azzarello, representing Argeros, said his client was acting on behalf of a candidate for prime minister of Albania who wanted a photo taken with Obama.
The candidate was Edi Rama, Azzarello said, who was elected and currently is Albania’s prime minister. When the charges became public in 2016, Rama’s office denied being the source of the contribution.