Hillary Fundraiser Eludes Jail for 15 Years

This is one of those stories that could only happen to a Clinton.

Norman Hsu, a prominent Democratic fundraiser who has funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars into Hillary Clinton's Senate campaigns and pledged to raise $100,000 for her presidential bid has been a fugitive from justice for 15 years.

In 1992, he pleaded no contest to charges of grand theft and agreed to serve three years in jail. But something funny happened on the way to prison; he never showed up:

He is a fugitive," Ronald Smetana, who handled the case for the state attorney general, said in an interview. "Do you know where he is?"

Hsu, it seems, has been hiding in plain sight, at least for the last three years.

Since 2004, one Norman Hsu has been carving out a prominent place of honor among Democratic fundraisers. He has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into party coffers, much of it earmarked for presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

In addition to making his own contributions, Hsu has honed the practice of assembling packets of checks from contributors who bear little resemblance to the usual Democratic deep pockets: A self-described apparel executive with a variety of business interests, Hsu has focused on delivering hefty contributions from citizens who live modest lives and are neophytes in the world of campaign giving.
It gets better. Apparently, Mr. Hsu "forgot" that he is a convicted felon:

On Tuesday, E. Lawrence Barcella Jr. -- a Washington lawyer who represents the Democratic fundraiser -- confirmed that Hsu was the same man who was involved in the California case. Barcella said his client did not remember pleading to a criminal charge and facing the prospect of jail time. Hsu remembers the episode as part of a settlement with creditors when he also went through bankruptcy, Barcella said.
The Wall Street Journal has some interesting facts about Hsu and his donors:
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that a modest home in a middle-class San Francisco suburb, where the family of mail carrier William Paw resides, is listed as the address for many contributions to the Clinton campaign. Mr. Hsu once listed the home as his address, according to public records, and the Paws' donations closely tracked his.
Does Hsu skirt FEC laws by reimbursing donors and then trying to hide the evidence? Certainly worth looking into don't you think?

In typical Clinton fashion, the best defense is a good offense. When in doubt, deny, deny, deny:
"Norman Hsu is a longtime and generous supporter of the Democratic Party and its candidates, including Sen. Clinton," Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the campaign, said Tuesday. "During Mr. Hsu's many years of active participation in the political process, there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question or to return them."
Which only goes to show that the more things change for the Clintons, the more they stay the same.

Hat Tip: Richard Baehr
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