By Tony Perry
January 21, 2014, 9:46 p.m.
SAN DIEGO — A retired San Diego police officer and the owner of a Washington, D.C.-based election services business have been charged with conspiring to funnel more than $500,000 of illegal contributions from a Mexican businessman into San Diego campaigns, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Ravneet Singh, 41, owner of ElectionMall Inc., and retired police detective Ernesto Encinas, 57, conspired to funnel the money into independent committees supporting candidates in the mayoral elections of 2012 and 2013, among other elections, according to the complaint.
The names of the candidates are not included in the complaint but two of them, from details in the complaint, appear to be ex-Mayor Bob Filner and Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis.
The complaint contains no assertion that the candidates knew of the contributions to the independent committees or that any candidate met with Encinas, who acted as the go-between the businessman and the committees.
The complaint notes that during the 2012 mayoral primary, “a local news source published an article noting the Foreign National’s large expenditures and implicitly questioning whether he was eligible to donate. The article noted that the Foreign National was a Mexican citizen.”
In May 2012, just before the mayoral primary election, the San Diego City Beat weekly newspaper reported that a political action committee supporting Dumanis for mayor had received at least $100,000 from an aviation firm controlled by Susumo Azano, described as a Mexican national living in Coronado.
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