Author and conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza plead guilty this morning to one count on federal charges detailed in an indictment accusing him of violating campaign finance laws and making false statements. D'Souza admitted in front of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, that he did in fact ask two people to make contributions in their name and later reimbursed them, knowing it was not proper under the law. D'Souza submitted a plea deal on May 19 and the charge of making false statements was dropped. Judge Richard Berman accepted his guilty plea today and set a sentencing date for September 23, 2014. The government argued attorneys would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant, D'Souza, is guilty. There will be no trial by jury in this case.
"Guilty your honor," D'Souza said, adding that he deeply regrets his actions.
"The plea is now accepted and Mr. D'Souza is now guilty under the indictment," Berman replied.
By entering a guilty plea, D'Souza waived his right to appeal and his right to sentence modification or reduction. He faces a maximum of two years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system. His right to vote, right to hold public office, right to possess a firearm and right to sit on a jury have been revoked.
"Mr. D'Souza agreed to accept responsibility for having urged two close associates to make contributions of $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 senate campaign of Wendy Long and then reimbursing them for their contributions. Given the technical nature of the charge, there was no viable defense," D'Souza Attorneys Benjamin Brafman and Alex Spiro said in a statement. "We are hopeful that Judge Berman will recognize Mr. D'Souza to be a fundamentally honorable man who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive and responsible life."
Judge Berman said in the courtroom that he will consider D'Souza's character and history in his sentencing. Earlier this year, D'Souza plead not guilty and was released on $500,000 bond.
This post has been updated.