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In this publicity image released by Rocky Mountain Pictures, Dinesh D'Souza, left, interviews George Obama in his film, "2016: Obama's America." / AP

Conservative commentator and author Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted on charges of violating federal election laws and could face up to seven years in prison if found guilty, according to documents released Thursday by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the FBI.

According to a notice emailed to the press, authorities charge D'Souza made illegal contributions to a U.S. Senate campaign in the names of others and caused false statements connected with those contributions to be made to the Federal Election Commission.

Authorities did not name the U.S. Senate candidate. In 2012, D'Souza campaigned for Wendy Long, a Republican who challenged Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand to represent New York in the U.S. Senate. Long's campaign website appeared to no longer be operating, and Reuters reported she could not be reached. Gillebrand won the election.

D'Souza, 52, a former policy analyst in the Ronald Reagan White House, will be arraigned Friday in federal court in Manhattan, according to the statement.

No one responded to an email sent to D'Souza's press contact Thursday evening. There was no mention of the indictment on D'Souza's Facebook page.

The FBI said federal campaign election laws are designed to limit the influence of money in elections.

"Trying to influence elections through bogus campaign contributions is a serious crime," FBI assistant director-in-charge George Venizelos said in a statement. "Today, Mr. D'Souza finds himself on the wrong side of the law."

The statement released by authorities says D'Souza is charged with causing $20,000 in illegal contributions to be made to a Senate candidate in August 2012. That charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. D'Souza also is charged with making false statements to the Federal Election Commission in connection with the contributions. That charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

In 2012, federal law limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each from any individual to a candidate.

D.Souza has served as a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute as well as at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has written several bestsellers. He is a native of Mumbai, India, and lives in San Diego.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Conservative commentator D'Souza indicted

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