Obama campaign returns money raised by supporter accused of fraud
President Obama’s reelection campaign has returned $50,000 raised by a New York supporter who was accused in court of defrauding a businessman out of $657,000, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors, officials said Friday.
Spokesman Ben LaBolt said the Obama campaign returned a donation of $35,000 from the fundraiser, Abake Assongba, and another $15,000 from her husband, Anthony J.W. DeRosa. Assongba had been listed on the campaign’s public list of campaign bundlers in March, but was absent from an updated list released Friday.
The Washington Post reported last month that Assongba was dogged by a collection agency and a court order to pay more than $10,000 in unpaid rent for her former Brooklyn apartment, among other issues. A Swiss businessman also sued Assongba in Florida, accusing her of engaging in an e-mail scam to take his money. Assongba disputes the allegations.
The Post report also raised questions about a charity that Assongba had founded to raise money online for projects in the African nation of Benin.
In February, the Obama campaign also returned $200,000 in donations from the Chicago-area brothers of a Mexican casino magnate linked to violence and corruption.
Presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney has declined to identify his top campaign bundlers, except for registered federal lobbyists whose fundraising must be reported by law.