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Elderly father of congressman sentenced to prison

California congressman Ami Bera's father was recently sentenced to serve a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty in May 2016 to making nearly $270,000 in illegal contributions to his son's 2010 congressional campaign. The elder Bera, who is 83 years old, was sentenced on Aug. 18 in federal court in Sacramento.

According to reports, Ami Bera, who ran unsuccessfully in 2010, denies having any knowledge of the actions of his father. Ami Bera has since been elected to his current congressional office, for which he is currently running again for re-election for another two-year term against Scott Jones, who is the Sacramento County sheriff.

His father reportedly asked his acquaintances and friends to contribute $225,000 to Ami Bera's campaign. He then paid the people who made the contributions back for the amounts they paid. In 2012, he reportedly engaged in the same scheme when Ami Bera ran for cCongress, funneling $43,000 into his campaign. In that year, Ami Bera was successful in his election bid.

People who are charged with federal crimes may face long prison sentences as well as other significant penalties if they are convicted on those charges. A criminal defense attorney who has experience defending against criminal allegations in federal court may be able to secure a favorable plea for a client by negotiating with the U.S. attorney who is assigned to the case. The agreement could involve the entering of a guilty plea to a lesser offense in exchange for a reduced penalty. In some cases, it may be possible to obtain a resolution that does not involve prison time.

Source: CNS News, "California congressman's father sentenced to year in prison," Don Thompson, Aug. 18, 2016

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