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Attorney General Janet Reno announced that the Justice Department's Campaign Financing Task Force today secured the indictment of DNC fundraiser Pauline Kanchanalak, 47, and her business associate and sister in law, Duangnet "Georgie" Kronenberg, 41. The 24 count indictment charges the pair with conspiring to impair and impede the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and to cause the submission of false statements to the FEC.

Praitun Kanchanalak (Kronenberg's mother and Pauline Kanchanalak's mother in law), and Jeb Kanchanalak (Pauline Kanchanalak's husband) were named as unindicted coconspirators.

"The Campaign Financing Task Force has brought new charges against four defendants in 6 days," said Reno. "This is our largest criminal investigation, and the Justice Department has charged ten individuals so far."

Pauline Kanchanalak, a Thai citizen, is prohibited by federal election laws from making contributions in connection with the nomination and election of candidates to political office.

According to the indictment, Pauline Kanchanalak and Georgie Kronenberg used funds from foreign corporations and individuals (including Pauline and her husband Jeb) to make prohibited campaign contributions, totaling at least $679,000 to the DNC and other political committees located in the United States. The foreign sourced money was funneled through the accounts of Georgie Kronenberg and Praitun Kanchanalak, both of whom, as greencard holders, are entitled under the federal election laws to make contributions with their own funds.

The indictment alleges that through these circuitous contributions, Pauline Kanchanalak and Georgie Kronenberg gained access to the President and various members of the Administration; this access was intended by the defendants to impress clients and help their business ventures. (MORE)

As set forth in the indictment, the largest recipient of the illegal contributions was the DNC, which received more than $333,000. Various state Democratic parties (including California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) also benefitted from the illegal scheme. So too did many Democratic candidates for both federal and state office.

Defendants Pauline Kanchanalak and Georgie Kronenberg are also charged with 13 counts of causing false statements to be filed with the FEC. These charges stem from their having arranged for contributions to the DNC and various Democratic candidates in the name of legal contributors (Georgie Kronenberg and Praitun Kanchanalak) when in fact the true source of the money was non greencard holders and foreign corporations.

Both the DNC and the political committees of candidates for federal office are required by law to file reports with the FEC detailing the amount of money they have received and the source of the funds. Because the true source of the money was not specified to the DNC and

political committees, the information they passed on to the FEC was inaccurate.

In addition to the prohibitions against contributions by foreign nationals, federal election law prohibits conduit contributions (made in the name of another) as well as corporate contributions. The indictment alleges that Pauline Kanchanalak and Georgie Kronenberg violated the ban against corporate contributions by funneling corporate funds into accounts held in the name of Georgie Kronenberg and/or Praitun Kanchanalak, and then having Georgie Kronenberg and Praitun Kanchanalak make campaign contributions to the DNC.

Finally, both Pauline Kanchanalak and Georgie Kronenberg are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by having corporate documents removed and computer hard drives erased in an effort to destroy and/or conceal records that were relevant to the federal grand jury and congressional investigations of financing irregularities. Georgie Kronenberg is a resident of McLean, VA. Pauline Kanchanalak is currently believed to be in Thailand.

On July 9, fund raiser Howard Glicken was charged with soliciting a political contribution from a foreign national and causing it to be made in someone else's name. Maria Hsia was indicted July 7 on four tax counts, and on February 18 with conspiring to defraud the United States and causing false statements to be submitted to the FEC. On March 5, Johny Chung was charged with using straw donors and his own donations to exceed federal limits in contributing to Clinton/Gore and Senator John Kerry reelection campaigns. On January 29, Charlie Trie and Antonio Pan were indicted on 15 charges, including obstruction of justice and various crimes relating to campaign financing. Last year, the Task Force obtained guilty pleas from Democratic fund raisers Nora and Gene Lum, their daughter Trisha, and Michael Brown for illegal fund raising activities after their cases were referred from Independent Counsel Daniel Pearson.

All charges made by the government are merely accusations, and all criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. ### 98 325