Mt. Pleasant man accused of illegally giving to Sen. Graham

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (AP/WCSC) - A Mount Pleasant man and his estranged wife are accused of illegally contributing to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's campaign and his political action committee.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said the indictment against Jian-Yun "John" Dong and his wife, Danher Wang, was unsealed Monday. Nettles says there's no evidence Graham's campaign knew about the alleged conspiracy.

The indictment accuses the two of giving to Graham's re-election efforts in other people's names, using money from a German shareholder of their business. It accuses them of exceeding their maximum contribution allowance. It accuses Dong of lying to officers and tampering with a witness.

Wang says she hasn't seen the indictment and couldn't comment.

A 36-count indictment charges that GenPhar President Dong and one of his companies, Vaxima, Inc., committed a number of offenses relating to the fraudulent use and conversion of funds received as federal grants.

The indictment charges that the defendants submitted false claims for payment of federal grant monies and that they used grant funds received for scientific research for prohibited purposes.

Specifically, this indictment charges that Dong, as the president and chief executive officer of GenPhar, Inc, submitted false claims to federal agencies, converted grant funds to his own use and committed wire fraud. The indictment also charges that Vaxima,  Inc, a corporation owned solely by Dong, assisted in the execution of the scheme.

The second indictment charges Dong and his estranged, Wang with violations of federal campaign laws. The seven-count indictment charges that Dong and Wang conspired to make illegal campaign contributions in the names of other persons using money from a foreign national.

The indictment further alleges in other counts that Dong and Wang made or caused others to make illegal contributions after Dong and Wang exceeded their maximum contribution allowance.

According to the indictment, contributions were made in a way to conceal their true origin from the FEC, campaigns and the public. Finally, the indictment alleges that Dong made false statements to law enforcement agents and that Dong attempted to illegally influence the testimony of a witness.

As to the grant fraud indictment, the maximum sentences Dong faces for wire fraud regarding the misuse of federal grant funds is 30 years imprisonment as to each count with a maximum fine of $250,000 per count. Dong faces sentences of up to ten years for the other charges contained in this indictment.

Both Dong and Wang face maximum sentences of 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for each count of campaign finance fraud and Dong faces an additional maximum sentence of twenty years as to the witness tampering charges in the first indictment.

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