Democratic fundraiser, wanted as a fugitive in California, turns himself in to authorities

A top Democratic fundraiser wanted as a fugitive in California turned himself in Friday to face a grand theft charge.
San Mateo County Superior Court Judge H. James Ellis ordered Norman Hsu handcuffed and held on $2 million (euro1.46 million) bond. A bail hearing was scheduled for Sept. 5, at which the judge will consider reducing his bail to $1 million (euro730,000).
Hsu appeared in court accompanied by a lawyer and publicist, both of whom declined to say whether the Hong Kong-born New York apparel executive would immediately post bail. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he skipped the sentencing for a 1991 grand theft charge.
In the ensuing years, Hsu became a top donor to numerous Democratic candidates and was a fundraiser for presidential contender Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also had contributed to Sen. Barack Obama's past Senate campaign and his political action committee.
On Friday, Hsu also resigned from the board of trustees of The New School and from the board of governors of The New School's Eugene Lang College. The college received a federal appropriation secured by Clinton last year, but a spokesman for the school said Hsu was not involved in seeking money for the school.
After reports surfaced this week of Hsu's fugitive status in California, Clinton joined other candidates in returning thousands of dollars he had raised, but the allegations distracted her campaign just as it prepared to ramp up for the intense stretch that begins after the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday.
The campaign announced Wednesday it would return $23,000 (euro16,782) in contributions that Hsu made to her presidential and senatorial campaigns and to her political action committee HillPac.
On Thursday, Obama's campaign said he would donate to charity the $2,000 (euro1,459) Hsu contributed to his 2004 Senate campaign in Illinois and the $5,000 (euro3,648) Hsu gave to his political action committee, Hopefund. Hsu's $43,700 (euro31,886) in donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $2,500 (euro1,824) to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also will go to charity, both groups announced Thursday.

Updated : 2021-01-28 14:38 GMT+08:00