President Clinton's friend Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie was sentenced today to four months' home detention and three years' probation for violating campaign finance laws.
He was also fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
Trie, 50, had pleaded guilty in May to a felony count of causing the Democratic National Committee to make a false report to the Federal Election Commission and to a misdemeanor charge of making $5,000 in contributions in the names of others.
U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. imposed a stiffer term than prosecutors had recommended. Prosecutors suggested probation because Trie has cooperated in a federal campaign fund-raising investigation.
Howard said he tacked on the additional sanctions because of concerns that Trie and others who violate federal campaign finance laws "compromise the integrity and the virtue of this great nation."
In exchange for Trie's cooperation, prosecutors dropped indictments in Washington and Arkansas. Those indictments accused Trie of arranging illegal campaign donations to the DNC from Chinese businessmen in an effort to curry favor with Clinton for himself and others and of attempting to obstruct a Senate investigation.
Trie's lawyer, Reid Weingarten, said in court that his client has given the Justice Department information linking political donations and private business deals. Weingarten would not elaborate outside court, citing a gag order issued by the judge.
Trie became friends with Clinton when he was governor and frequented a Chinese restaurant Trie owned near the Arkansas Capitol. The White House had no immediate comment on the sentence.