Sri Lanka paid $8.5 million to convicted Pak-American lobbyist

A federal court in the United States sentenced Imaad Zuberi, a Pakistan-origin American venture capitalist, to 12 years in prison for hiding his identity as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level US officials

Feb 23, 2021
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A federal court in the United States sentenced Imaad Zuberi, a Pakistan-origin American venture capitalist, to 12 years in prison for hiding his identity as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level US officials. The lobbyist was also paid $8.5 million in 2014 by the Sri Lankan government to refurbish its image in the US.

A report in the Newswire reported that Zuberi was paid by the Sri Lankan government to “rehabilitate” the country’s image that has long suffered from its alleged mistreatment of the Tamil ethnic minority. 

He promised to make substantial expenditures on lobbying efforts, legal expenses, and media buys. The US Justice Department also said he had failed to pay the money to subcontractors, and mostly used all money to the benefits of himself and his wife.

The court also slapped a fine of $1.75 million on Imaad Zuberi and asked him to pay $15.7 million in restitution. He had donated and raised funds for several political leaders in the US.

Zuberi had donated $900,000 to the Trump inaugural committee in 2016 and $100,000 for Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. He was a top also a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

“The violations were part of a larger surreptitious effort to route foreign money into US elections and to use it to corrupt the US policy-making processes,” a court filing by prosecutors was earlier quoted by Dawn.

The report in Dawn said that he was born in Pakistan and migrated to the United States with his parents when he was three years old. Later he got American citizenship.

Zuberi “went to great lengths to pull off his scheme, hiring lobbyists, retaining public relations professionals and making campaign contributions” to enhance his influence, reported US media

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