×

‘Obama’ Filmmaker Indicted for Campaign Fraud

D'Souza allegedly contributed excessive funds to a U.S. Senate campaign

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Dan Trachtenberg

    Tom Holland's 'Uncharted' Movie Loses Director

    Dan Trachtenberg has exited the director’s chair for Sony’s “Uncharted” movie starring Tom Holland, with the studio taking meetings with top filmmakers and production starting early next year. The studio confirmed Trachtenberg’s departure Thursday. It also said Sony-based PlayStation Productions — headed by Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan — had come on to produce alongside [...]

  • Participant Taps Anikah McLaren, Robert Kessel

    Participant Taps Anikah McLaren, Robert Kessel to Head Film Department

    Participant Media has named industry veterans Anikah McLaren and Robert Kessel as co-heads of the company’s film department with the titles of executive vice president. Both executives will report together to Participant CEO David Linde, who made the announcement Thursday. McLaren joins Participant having most recently served as a production executive for Fox Searchlight Pictures. [...]

  • 'The Son' Review: Bosnian Family Drama

    Sarajevo Film Review: 'The Son'

    It is a mixed blessing to be born in the aftermath of a war. On the one hand, you never have to experience the terror and suffering your parents did; on the other, you grow up with your own personal crises forever made to feel smaller by comparison. That, at least, is the frustration driving [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: Jennifer Lopez 'Hustlers' Heading for $25 Million Launch

    STX Entertainment’s “Hustlers,” a comedic thriller about strip-club employees seeking revenge, is expected to earn $25 million when it opens on Sept. 13, according to early tracking. The movie — starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo — will debut alongside Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch.” The drama, based on [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Lays Off 35 Corporate Staffers

    AMC Entertainment has laid off 35 corporate staffers and will not fill an additional 15 open jobs. The Kansas-based chain made the announcement Thursday as part of a previously announced “profit improvement plan” intended to achieve operating and administrative efficiencies. AMC, which operates more than 10,000 movie screens, had disclosed the plan on Aug. 8 [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Take Me Somewhere Nice review

    Ena Sendijarevic on Migration, Identity and the Question of Belonging

    Bosnian filmmaker Ena Sendijarević had an auspicious debut with “Import,” a short film which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. Drawing on her own family’s personal history, the Amsterdam-based director crafted an idiosyncratic tale about a family of Bosnian refugees trying to make a new home in the Netherlands. With her feature debut, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content