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Scholar Dinesh D’Souza Pleads Guilty In Campaign Donations Case

Dinesh D'Souza

Conservative scholar Dinesh D’Souza. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A conservative scholar and filmmaker pleaded guilty Tuesday in New York federal court to making illegal campaign contributions.

Dinesh D’Souza admitted to getting two close associates to make $10,000 contributions to Wendy Long.

A prosecutor said it was done with the understanding that he would reimburse them for their contributions, which he did soon afterward.

Long was a Republican candidate who lost the New York Senate race in 2012 to Democrat incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

She was prepared to testify against D’Souza regarding the contributions, a prosecutor said. She had told federal investigators that D’Souza lied to her about the source of donations made to her campaign, a prosecutor had said in January.

His plea came the day his trial was to begin. The plea agreement calls for a sentence of 10 to 16 months in prison.

D’Souza, who made the anti-President Barack Obama documentary “2016: Obama’s America,” said he knew what he did was wrong and illegal and that he deeply regrets it.

D’Souza is a former policy analyst under President Ronald Reagan. “2016: Obama’s America” was condemned by critics before it became one of the most successful political documentaries ever released, grossing more than $32 million.

In October 2012, D’Souza resigned as head of an the King’s College, a small evangelical college in Lower Manhattan, after becoming engaged to a woman while still married to his wife.

D’Souza is set to be sentenced on Sept. 23.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)