Dinesh D’Souza's "justice": Renowned wingnut sentenced to probation

Conservative polemicist spared prison time, after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations

Published September 23, 2014 6:21PM (EDT)

Dinesh D'Souza exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty in New York, May 20, 2014.                   (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Dinesh D'Souza exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty in New York, May 20, 2014. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Right-wing pundit Dinesh D’Souza won’t be going to prison for campaign finance violations he pled guilty to in May, but he’ll be reporting to a probation officer for the next five years.

Sparing himself the spectacle of a trial, D’Souza pled guilty this spring to illegally funneling $20,000 in straw donations to the U.S. Senate campaign of New York Republican and longtime D’Souza friend Wendy Long in 2012. D’Souza used the straw donations to skirt the individual contribution limit of $5,000 per cycle.

Federal prosecutors asked Judge Richard Berman to sentence D’Souza to 10 to 16 months in prison, but Berman on Tuesday opted to sentence D’Souza to probation – the first eight months of which he’ll spend in a “community confinement center” in San Diego.

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During the sentencing hearing, Berman read from a letter submitted to the court by D’Souza’s former wife. In the missive, Suzie D’Souza alleged that her ex-spouse forged her signature on one campaign contribution form, and that he had an “abusive nature.” D’Souza, who was married to the defendant for 20 years, wrote, “In one instance, it was my husband who physically abused me in April 2012 when he, using his purple belt karate skills, kicked me in the head and shoulder, knocking me to the ground and creating injuries that pain me to this day.”

In May, on the eve of trial, D’Souza pleaded guilty to illegally arranging $20,000 in straw donations to the 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long, a New York Republican who was challenging incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

The 53-year-old D’Souza, a close friend of Long, personally reimbursed the straw donors, effectively allowing him to exceed the $5000 limit for individual donors. According to a probation report, D'Souza's net worth is in excess of $5 million.

By Luke Brinker

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