Democrat Fund-raiser Indicted On Tax Violations
By Pierre Thomas/CNN
WASHINGTON (July 7) -- A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has returned an indictment alleging tax law violations by former Democratic activist and fund-raiser Maria Hsia, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The indictment charges that Hsia failed to file a 1994 tax return and filed false returns in 1995 and 1996, the Justice Department said.
Tuesday's indictment follows charges filed in February concerning alleged campaign fund-raising abuses. Hsia has entered not guilty pleas to those charges.
A Justice Department source said that on the surface there does not
appear to be a connection between the tax allegations and the fund-raising charges. But the source would not rule out the possibility.
Hsia, a 47-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen born in Taiwan, organized the controversial 1996 Buddhist temple fund-raiser at which Vice President Al Gore spoke. There have been allegations that Hsia and the Hsi Lai Temple used people as "conduits" to make contributions to various campaigns and political committees, including the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton/Gore 1996 re-election campaign.
The new charges drew swift reaction from Hsia's attorney, Nancy Luque. "They are desperate for a plea," Luque said. "It's a squeeze. She will never plead guilty."
Hsia is free on $50,000 bond awaiting her Aug. 31 trail on the campaign