(RNS) – Conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating campaign finance laws in contributions to a Senate candidate.
D’Souza was charged with of making $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions an unnamed candidate, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
In 2012, D’Souza reimbursed people who he had told to contribute amounts totaling $20,000 to a candidate’s campaign, according to the indictment. The candidate was not named in the indictment.
In 2012, D’Souza supported Wendy Long, New York’s Republican candidate for the Senate. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand won in a reelection. New York elections records show D’Souza donated to Long’s campaign in 2012.
D’Souza is also charged with making false statements to the FEC, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Federal law during the time of his contributions were made allowed individual campaign contributions up to a total of $5,000.
D’Souza resigned in 2012 as president of evangelical The King’s College in New York City, amid a scandal involving an alleged extramarital relationship. He resigned after the evangelical magazine World reported he brought his fiancee to a Christian values conference in South Carolina before filing for a divorce.
D’Souza’s appointment at King’s was initially under scrutiny because of his Roman Catholic background, an unusual step for a historically evangelical school. World magazine editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky resigned as provost shortly after D’Souza was hired.
D’Souza was replaced last year by Greg Thornbury, formerly dean of the School of Theology at Union University.
D’Souza, 52, is a best-selling author and filmmaker. His movie “2016: Obama’s America,” was the second-highest grossing political documentary of all time, according to Fox News.
Before Christmas, he filmed an endorsement advertising a Christmas tree. As Christianity Today notes, D’Souza is scheduled to debate liberal activist Bill Ayers in an event billed as “The Ultimate Fight Between Left and Right” on Jan. 30 at his alma mater, Dartmouth College.
D’Souza narrated for a recent trailer for a new film titled, “America, Imagine a World Without It…” a film that explores the question, “What if America Never Existed?”
Copyright 2014 Religion News Service. Used with permission.
Publication Date: January 24, 2014.