Liu returns contributions, IDs bundlers

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Embattled city Comptroller John Liu returned nearly $50,000 in contributions and disclosed a list of his campaign bundlers as promised last week amid questions about the finances of his unofficial 2013 campaign for mayor.

Nearly all of the $48,470 Liu gave back to donors was refunded on and after Nov. 16, the day a bundler for his campaign, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, was federally charged with skirting campaign finance laws by dividing a large contribution into smaller ones using straw donors.

Bundlers collect contributions on behalf of a candidate. Straw donors are individuals who make campaign contributions on behalf of another person and are reimbursed for their participation in the scheme, which is illegal.

Scrutiny of Liu’s fund-raising practices first surfaced in mid-September after The New York Times found his campaign account was flooded with large donations made by people who appeared unlikely to have the means to make such contributions. The questionable donors had occupations such as cook or cashier or, in some cases, were unemployed.

Liu returned all of the $15,200 in contributions collected by Pan.

An undercover FBI agent posing as a Chinese businessman wanted to contribute $16,000 to Liu’s campaign and, according to federal charges, Pan suggested setting up straw donors to sidestep campaign finance laws.

Pan also showed up on Liu’s recent filing as one of 59 campaign bundlers who collected donations for the comptroller’s 2013 campaign.

This is the first time Liu has made the names of his bundlers public. The list included two colleagues of his in government: City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing).

Campaign finance records showed Koo collected $7,200 in donations from nine individuals, while Meng gathered $4,000 from five people.

Koo and Meng are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The most prolific bundler for Liu was Chung Seto, a consultant in charge of Liu’s comptroller campaign in 2009 who solicited $63,875 in donations from 93 people.

Seto described herself as a political consultant with her own agency, the Chung Seto Group, but a visit to her Manhattan office turned up a doctor’s office. Her phone line was also out of service.

Seto was also a bundler for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 1:35 am, January 26, 2012
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Robbie Garrison from Kew Gardens Hills says:
We are always ready to believe the worst...

However, I believe John is as good and honest a politician as you will ever have in New York City.

I speak as a woman still incensed that our current mayor found a way to negate the votes of the people on term limits and get himself another term as mayor... his honor is a first class dealer from the bottom of the deck.

If John Liu runs for mayor he has my vote.
Jan. 26, 2012, 7:19 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.


Do you know an immigrant in Queens who has made an impact on the community? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the 2018 Queens Ambassador Awards.
Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!