US Sikh Charged in Political Finance Conspiracy

Ravneet “Ravi” Singh

SAN DIEGO, California—A self-styled “campaign guru” accused of conspiring with a former San Diego police detective and others to funnel more than $500,000 of illegal foreign money into San Diego municipal and federal campaigns faced a judge Tuesday.

Ravneet Singh, 41, the proprietor of Washington, D.C.-based ElectionMall, Inc., was arraigned in San Diego Tuesday on charges that he conspired to finance political campaigns using money from an illegal foreign source.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took Singh into custody serving an arrest warrant on Friday.

Singh’s company, ElectionMall, Inc., that provides social media services and other campaign election products to political candidates throughout the world, was also charged as a defendant.

According to the complaint filed by the FBI, Singh conspired with former SDPD detective Ernesto Encinas and others to funnel more than $500,000 foreign money into San Diego municipal and federal campaigns, primarily in 2012 and 2013.

The complaint alleges that between 2011 and 2013, Singh and Encinas helped a wealthy Mexican citizen donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to a series of candidates for elective office.  The elections involved included the 2012 San Diego mayoral election, a 2012 Congressional campaign and the 2013 San Diego special mayoral election, up to, but not after, December 2013.

As part of the conspiracy, the complaint filed by the FBI, alleges that Encinas was going to have the next mayor fire the Chief of Police then replace him with a person who Encinas chose.

“The illegal activity that is alleged here, basically has to do with ‘the Foreign National’ contributing money to U.S. elections,” said Darrel Foxworth, a special agent with the FBI.

Foxworth would not say if any of the candidates were aware of the illegal contributions.

Under federal law, foreign nationals are prohibited from making any contributions to any American electoral campaign, whether at the federal, state or local level.


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