Washington, DC – Babulal Bera, the father of Indian American Democrat Congressman Ami Bera, from Elk Grove (CA), entered a plea deal today (May 10) after he was charged with making excessive campaign contributions and making contributions in the name of another person, according to the latest court documents.
The Guilty Plea in the court document states, “The defendant will plead guilty to Counts One and Two, charging Making Excessive Campaign Contributions in violation … and Making Contributions in the Name of Another in violation of …, respectively.”
“The defendant agrees that he is in fact guilty of these charges and that the facts … are accurate,” the plea agreement further noted.
The charges allege that, beginning in 2009, Bera contributors gave at least $235,000 to a campaign committee in Elk Grove, and that Babulal Bera later caused the contributions to be illegally refunded.
In response to his father’s admission that he had violated campaign finance law, Congressman Bera said in a statement, “I am incredibly saddened and disappointed in learning what my dad did. While I deeply love my father, it’s clear he has made a grave mistake that will have real consequences for him.”
Denying any knowledge of his father’s activities, the two-time Congressman said, “Since I learned from authorities about this investigation, my team and I have cooperated fully with the US Attorney’s Office. Neither I, nor anyone involved with my campaign, was aware of my father’s activities until we learned about them from the US Attorney’s Office and, on the advice of my attorney, I have not discussed this matter or anything else regarding my campaigns with my father.”
“As soon as I learned the amount of the improper donations, I immediately took steps to return the full dollar amount to the US Treasury and the taxpayers,” said the only Congressman of Indian origin, adding, “My father taught me the value of hard work and, if not for him, I would not be a doctor. But he also taught me that we are all accountable for our own actions, and he has accepted responsibility for what he did.”
Congressman Bera faces a tight re-election battle against Republican Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones . Zach Hunter, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) was quick to react saying, “As new reports reveal that illegal donations helped finance his campaigns, Ami Bera needs to immediately return the hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal campaign contributions he has accepted.”
Reacting to Bera’s comments, Hunter said, “It defies belief that Rep. Bera was unaware of these activities, and 7th District voters deserve to know the truth.
Indian American Bera, 51, was first elected in 2012 and again re-elected in 2014 in a tight race. The charges against his father allegedly date back to 2010 when he was running for the seat against incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Lungren.