- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 10, 2002

A former civil rights activist who helped desegregate an Arkansas high school in 1957 as a member of the "Little Rock Nine" was sentenced yesterday to two years' probation for failing to pay taxes on income he received from Clinton campaign supporter Charles Yah Lin Trie.
Ernest G. Green also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to pay a $10,000 fine and serve 90 days of home detention for his failure to declare and pay taxes on $30,000 he received for a business venture from Trie, an Arkansas restaurant owner and longtime friend of President Clinton's.
Green, 63, was the 21st person convicted by the Justice Department's campaign finance task force since it was created in 1996 to investigate accusations of wrongdoing in the 1996 presidential election. Six others either are fugitives or have cases pending.
A managing director at Lehman Brothers in Washington, Green pleaded guilty on Dec. 21.
Trie, a key figure in the task force probe, pleaded guilty in 1999 to making illegal donations to Mr. Clinton's 1996 presidential campaign and told the FBI that Green was an illegal conduit for cash that went to a February 1996 fund-raiser that Mr. Clinton attended.
Trie told investigators he reimbursed Green for donations after asking him to "chip in" because the Democratic National Committee felt not enough cash had been raised at the event.
Green also was the focus of an investigation into whether he was an illegal conduit for a separate $50,000 donation he made to the DNC a day after helping a Chinese arms dealer, Wang Jun, get into the White House for a meeting with Mr. Clinton. No charges were ever filed in that case.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Green donated $50,000 to the DNC in two checks of $20,000 and $30,000, both dated Feb. 7, 1996. That donation followed by a day a DNC-arranged White House meeting between the president and Democratic contributors, including Mr. Wang who was Trie's Oval Office guest.
Trie and Green wrote letters of endorsement for the Wang visa, issued by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Mr. Wang was chairman of a Chinese arms company known as Poly Technologies Inc., although his visa application listed him as an executive of a China-based investment firm. Poly Technologies makes weapons for the Chinese military.
At the time of the visit, the company was under investigation by the U.S. Customs Service on suspicion of supplying 2,000 smuggled AK-47s to U.S. drug dealers and street gangs.
Mr. Wang was not charged in the probe, but investigators confirmed his name was "not unknown to undercover agents who had worked the case."
In 1999, Mr. Clinton joined congressional leaders in awarding Congressional Gold Medals to the Little Rock Nine. Mr. Clinton gave the three men and six women Congress' highest award for their bravery in entering Little Rock's Central High School on Sept. 25, 1957, protected by 1,200 Army troops sent by President Eisenhower to enforce a court's desegregation order.
Green, an assistant secretary of labor during the Carter administration and chairman of the African Development Foundation during the Clinton administration, agreed to cooperate with Justice Department prosecutors in the ongoing campaign-finance probe.
In return for his cooperation, the department agreed not to further prosecute him or his wife, Phyllis, for illegal campaign contributions in 1996 and not to pursue issues arising from his 1997 and 1998 testimony or statements to Congress and a federal grand jury.

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