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N.Y. Comptroller’s Aides Plead Not Guilty in Funding Case

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- New York City Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasurer, Jia “Jenny” Hou, and Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, a fundraiser, pleaded not guilty to illegally funneling campaign contributions to the comptroller.

Both were named last month in an indictment filed in federal court in New York. Hou, already been accused of fraud and obstruction of justice, was named with Pan in an alleged scheme to defraud the city by using straw donors to obtain matching campaign funds.

The government’s evidence includes recorded phone conversations and “tens of thousands” of pages of documents, e-mails and records on the campaign, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Lee told U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan today.

Pan’s lawyer, Irwin Rochman, said he intends to ask for dismissal of the charges against his client. Hou’s lawyer, Gerald B. Lefcourt, said he may seek to have her tried separately from Pan.

“We intend to make a motion to dismiss on the grounds of outrageous government conduct,” Rochman told Sullivan. “We’re talking about a series of acts taken by the government which, taken together, constitute outrageous behavior.”

Sullivan said that while he will wait to see the motion, such requests are rarely granted. The judge let Hou and Pan stay free on bond. He set their next court appearance for July 10.

Rochman said the government fabricated the case. He cited actions such as a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent’s posing as a potential Liu campaign contributor.

Rochman said after the court session that his criticism included “the manner in which the government created and executed the undercover operation which resulted in the indictment of Mr. Pan. That conduct or many aspects of it constitute the conscience-shocking outrageous misconduct by the government.”

The case is U.S. v. Pan, 1:12-cr-00153, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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