"political powerhouse" found guilty in federal court

Asian behaving badly... mail fraud edition! Julie Lee, a "political powerhouse" in San Francisco's Chinese American community, was found guilty last week by a jury in federal court of supplying false information and trying to tamper with witnesses after learning of inquiries about how she spent state grant money: S.F. political activist found guilty in federal court.

Specifically, the panel found Lee guilty on two counts of mail fraud in connection with canceled checks mailed in 2004 to an administrator at the state Department of Parks and Recreation and an auditor at the state Controller's Office.

Lee's nonprofit organization, the San Francisco Neighbors Resource Center, received a $500,000 grant in 2000 through the Parks and Recreation Department for planning and development of a community services facility in the city's heavily Chinese American west side. According to prosecutors, Lee laundered $125,000 of the grant through six intermediaries into Kevin Shelley's successful 2002 campaign for secretary of state.

The jury also found Lee guilty on three counts of attempted witness tampering, based on recorded conversations she had in 2004 with three of the intermediaries and their trial testimony for the government. Lee remains free on a $25,000 unsecured appearance bond pending sentencing September 23. More here: S.F. fundraiser Julie Lee guilty of fraud

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