- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 8, 2019

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A San Francisco Bay developer has been convicted of making $38,000 in illegal campaign contributions to a California congressman.

A federal jury in Oakland convicted James Tong of Fremont Tuesday after a 10-day trial.

A grand jury indictment alleged that Tong made illegal donations to the 2012 election and 2014 re-election campaigns of Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Prosecutors say Tong sidestepped donation limits by funneling money through dozens of people he pressured into acting as straw donors.

Swalwell, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, testified at trial. He said Tong never asked for favors and denied knowing the funds were illegal until the FBI notified him in 2017.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle , Swallwell says his campaign was donating the amount to charity.

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