This December, as many Americans were distracted by mainstream media coverage of the Trump impeachment kangaroo court, some real news happened: eight wealthy Democrats were indicted for participating in a massive 2016 illegal election financing scheme.
The United States Department of Justice has charged that the eight co-conspirators sought to “make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions” to the tune of $3.5 million toward and after the 2016 November election. Leading the pack was the CEO of an online payment processing company.
The announcement came from Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted the following liberal octet on November 7, 2019:
- Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja
- George Nader
- Roy Boulos
- Rudy Dekermenjian
- Mohammad “Moe” Diab
- Rani El-Saadi
- Stevan Hill
- Thayne Whipple
The 53-count indictment charges 48-year-old Khawaja, who resides in Los Angeles, California, with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of making conduit contributions, three counts of causing excessive contributions, 13 counts of making false statements, 13 counts of causing false records to be filed, and one count of obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation.
Nader, a Lebanese American businessman who was a witness in the Mueller report, stands accused of conspiring with Khawaja, also from Lebanon, to make conduit campaign contributions and related offenses. Nader was found in possession of child pornography in 2018 but received partial immunity in exchange for testifying in the Mueller investigation into alleged (and unfounded) Russia-Trump 2016 election interference.
Nader was arrested on child-pornography charges and is being held in federal custody. He could be sentenced to a 15-40 prison term if he is found guilty and convicted.
Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple are charged with conspiring with Khawaja and each other to make conduit campaign contributions and conceal excessive contributions and related offenses.
The Justice Department indictment claims that Khawaja conspired with Nader to hide the source of more than $3.5 million in campaign contributions that were funneled to political committees affiliated with a presidential candidate in the 2016 election.
The conspiratorial plot listed the names of Khawaja, his wife, and his company as the multi-million-dollar donors. The federal indictment charges that Nader provided the funds. Khawaja and Nader allegedly made these large, secret contributions to buy influence with high-level politicians, including the candidate.
Khawaja and Nader orchestrated these secretive payments and Nader is charged with reporting his influential efforts to a foreign government official.
The DOJ indictment further alleges that between March 2016 and 2018, Khawaja conspired with Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple to conceal Khawaja’s illegally large campaign contributions – more than $1.8 million – to a number of political committees. Khawaja allegedly hosted a private fundraiser for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election as well as a private fundraising dinner for an elected official in 2018 using the excessive contributions.
Khawaja is also charged with obstructing a grand jury investigation into this affair in D.C. from June 2019 through July 2019. Khawaja knew that a witness had been called to testify before the grand jury and allegedly fed the witness false information about Nader and his link to Khawaja’s company.
Boulos, Diab, Hill, and Whipple are also charged with obstructing the grand jury’s investigation by lying under oath to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Performing the official inquiry is the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Prosecuting the case are Deputy Chief John D. Keller and Trial Attorneys James C. Mann and Michael J. Romano of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.
Khawaja’s company Allied Wallet Inc says it processes billions of dollars of online payments annually, transferring credit card purchases to banks. Clients included some seedy characters and high-risk merchants:
“One customer was a debt collector that threatened to jail people if they didn’t pay back loans that they never took out. Another was an offshore gambling operation that hid bets behind innocuous-sounding websites, including one dedicated to orange cats. A third was a phone-sex business catering to men with diaper fetishes or fantasies of raping women.”
After the Democrats lost in 2016, Khawaja began courting Republican politicians in a similar fashion.
For example, two weeks after Trump’s win, Khawaja lunched with GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy. A few days later, Khawaja met Trump at a $5,000-per-person transition fundraiser in Manhattan, New York City. Shortly after that, the shady entrepreneur donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee and parlayed that largesse into a photo with the president inside the Oval Office.
Internal company records, including email dialogs and business and financial documents, reveal that executives at Allied Wallet assisted in setting up fake websites and dummy corporations to hide the paper trails. The documents show that staffers at Allied Wallet knew that the way they were doing business was “very, very illegal.”
Nader also met with President Trump several times. Nader served as a diplomatic conduit to the Middle East and Russia and was an informal adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates.