Florida man admits helping foreigner give to Obama committee

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) " A Florida man on Monday admitted he arranged an $80,000 campaign contribution from a foreign source to a joint fundraising committee of President Barack Obama.

William Argeros pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to making foreign contributions in connection with the 2012 election and lying to a grand jury. The 57-year-old Tampa resident admitted facilitating the transfer to a New Jersey man, who in turn provided it to the committee.

U.S. law prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions to federal candidates.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, the unnamed foreigner behind the contribution sought to attend an October 2012 campaign event in San Francisco.

Argeros said he provided instructions to the foreigner on how to transfer the money and prompted the transfer to Bilal Shehu, a New Jersey resident.

Shehu pleaded guilty last month to making the illegal contribution and is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

This month, Albania's main Democratic opposition party accused Prime Minister Edi Rama of being the source of the contribution.

Rama's office has denied that.

Prosecutors say the fundraising committee isn't accused of wrongdoing and cooperated with investigators.

The White House had no immediate comment.

Both crimes carry a maximum prison sentence of five years, but under terms of Argeros' plea agreement he is likely to receive 18 months to two years.

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Associated Press writer Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this story.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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