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Congressman Ami Bera's father freed from prison
Congressman Ami Bera’s father freed from prison

BY A STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Babulal Bera, 84-year-old father of Indian American Congressman Ami Bera of Sacramento, Calif., was released from prison on September 28, two months ahead of his one-year sentence.

Bera served his time at FCI Terminal Island low-security prison in San Pedro, Calif. He was transferred to a halfway house on July 29, and now released for good behavior 10 months into his sentence.

The elderly man, who has suffered with failed back surgeries, neuropathy, prostate cancer, a history of falls, and uses a cane to walk, must now serve three years of probation and also pay a $100,000 fine.

“It’s been a very tough year for me and my entire family and we are happy to have him home,” Rep. Bera said in a press statement.

According to court documents, Babulal Bera allegedly funneled about $300,000 to his son’s bids for Congress in 2010 and 2012. He and his wife Kanta made the maximum allowable contribution of $2,400 each election cycle. He also asked family members and friends to make the maximum contribution and said he would pay them back the full amount, a practice known as using straw donors.

Prosecutors said Bera would issue refund checks from five different bank accounts. Investigators found more than 130 improper campaign contributions involving about 90 contributors.

In May 2016, Bera pleaded guilty to two counts of violating federal campaign finance laws. The US Attorney’s Office dropped a second investigation against Rep. Ami Bera’s possible involvement in the fraud, saying in a statement last September that no other charges would be sought in the matter. It also did not file charges against Kanta.

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Update: 08-October-2017

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