He’s the man whose illicit foreign influence peddling is “among the most wide ranging ever prosecuted,” according to the government. Yet most people don’t even know his name. Imaad Zuberi attracted the spotlight when The Daily Beast identified his million-dollar donation to the Trump inaugural committee and his questionable foreign connections. Zuberi later appeared as a bit player in federal prosecutors’ investigation of the inaugural committee’s fundraising. That investigation into Trumpworld fizzled but the investigation into Zuberi revealed a trail of corruption stretching back years.
On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Zuberi to 12 years in prison for a stunning campaign of illegal lobbying that included a quarter-million dollars worth of illegal campaign contributions, straw donations to American campaigns on behalf of foreign donors, and skipping out on the tax tab when it came time to account for the money it brought him. So who’s Imaad Zuberi and how did he practice the dark art of foreign influence peddling?