Imaad Zuberi hobnobbed for two decades among America’s political elite, raising millions for Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton, texting with kings, princes, presidents and prime ministers and jet-setting with Republican senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
Then Zuberi resisted pressure to cooperate in the investigation of then-President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee, and the California millionaire’s world came crashing down. Late last year, he pleaded guilty to what federal prosecutors said was a “mercenary” scheme to funnel large sums of foreign money into U.S. campaign coffers so Zuberi could gain political influence and build his global business empire.
Imaad Zuberi, a Pakistani-American venture capitalist who cultivated connections with Joe Biden when he served as vice president, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday on foreign lobbying and campaign finance charges.
Zuberi peddled influence at the highest levels of the U.S. government, meeting with both President Barack Obama and Biden during their administration. He also developed connections to prominent senators and House members of both political parties, which he leveraged to drum up overseas business deals.
After the presidential election in 2012, a longtime adviser to Joe Biden urged the then-vice president’s sons, Hunter and Beau, to cultivate relationships with a group of wealthy political donors in order to “pull them in a little closer to Team Biden,” according to an email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
One of the sought-after donors was Imaad Zuberi, a politically-connected Pakistani-American businessman now awaiting sentencing on charges of tax evasion, obstruction, campaign finance violations and foreign agent violations.