Filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza pleads guilty in campaign finance scheme

Dinesh D'Souza exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty in New York, May 20, 2014.
Dinesh D'Souza exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse after pleading guilty in New York, May 20, 2014.

Dinesh D'Souza, the controversial conservative writer and filmmaker, has pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions, in connection with a scheme to get around limits on money in politics, Reuters reported. 

D'Souza admitted in a plea deal that he got two close associates to contribute $10,000 each to the campaign of Wendy Long, a Republican lawyer who was challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and who was a friend of D'Souza. D'Souza told the associates—one of whom was a woman to whom he had been engaged—that he would then reimburse them.

"I knew that causing a campaign contribution to be made in the name of another was wrong and something the law forbids," D'Souza, 53, told a federal judge. "I deeply regret my conduct."

The plea deal calls for a sentence of 10 to 16 months in prison.

Some conservatives had suggested that the prosecution of D'Souza was a politically motivated effort to target a prominent critic of President Obama. D'Souza's 2012 film, 2016: Obama's America, aimed to make the case that Obama's childhood experiences as the son of a Kenyan father instilled a profound hatred of the west in him, which has influenced his actions as president.