Dinesh D’Souza, director of the 2012 documentary “2016: Obama’s America,” was arrested and indicted for campaign finance fraud on Thursday, Reuters reports.
The conservative filmmaker and best-selling author allegedly contributed $20,000 in 2012 in the name of others to Republican Wendy Long’s U.S. Senate campaign. Long ran for Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senate seat, but lost to Kirsten Gillibrand.
Federal law in 2012 limited election campaign contributions to $5,000 per person per candidate. Breaking this law is punishable to two years in prison.
“As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, said in a statement.
Attorney Benjamin Brafman told The Hollywood Reporter that his client “did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever … at worst this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”
D’Souza, President Ronald Reagan’s former policy adviser, helmed “2016,” the second most popular political doc in U.S. history. The film, which criticized President Barack Obama’s presidency, banked $33 million at the box office. D’Souza’s upcoming film “America” hits theaters on July 4.