Lawyers for two supporters of New York comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu told jurors in closing arguments their clients didn’t engage in a conspiracy to funnel illegal contributions to his campaign.
Jia “Jenny” Hou, 26, Liu’s former campaign treasurer, and Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, 47, a fundraiser, are charged in a scheme to use straw donors to obtain thousands of dollars in matching funds from the city for the campaign.
Pan’s lawyer, Irwin Rochman, told the federal court jury in Manhattan today that his client had been ensnared in the case after the government was thwarted in an attempt to implicate Liu in wrongdoing.
“Mr. Pan is collateral damage in the government’s obsessive pursuit to make a criminal case against John Liu,” Rochman said in closing arguments. “I don’t represent John Liu, I don’t give a damn about John Liu, but that’s how we got here, they’re now struggling to make this a federal case. This case doesn’t belong in this courthouse, it doesn’t belong here, and Mr. Pan is not guilty of federal crimes.”
The case is U.S. v. Pan, 1:12-cr-00153, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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