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Fund-raiser to plead guilty to soliciting foreign money
9.13 p.m. ET (113 GMT) July 9, 1998

By Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Miami business executive Howard Glicken was charged Thursday with soliciting a $20,000 foreign contribution in 1993 to Democratic election campaigns. His lawyer said he has agreed to plead guilty.

A two-count criminal information charging violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act was filed in U.S. District Court here by the Justice Department's campaign finance task force.

Glicken is the fifth person charged by the task force so far. He did not immediately return calls seeking his reaction.

"The agreement is that he will plead to misdemeanor charges,'' said Glicken's Miami lawyer, Ed Shohat. "He has cooperated with the investigation from the inception and will continue to fully cooperate. Howard is happy to put the matter behind him.''

Shohat said Glicken would pay a fine under the agreement, but that the amount was not yet clear.

A criminal information is filed when a defendant waives the right to have a grand jury consider the evidence against him. As a result, it almost invariably signals that prosecutors have reached an agreement for the defendant to plead guilty.

Glicken's actual appearance in court to enter the plea was expected next week, officials said. Each count against him carries a top penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The charges said only that Glicken solicited a $20,000 contribution on April 28, 1993, from someone he knew was a foreign national who was not a legal permanent resident of the United States and thus barred from making contributions to U.S. election campaigns.

The charges said the donation was made to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which provides financial support for Democratic candidates for the Senate.

Although the court documents did not name the contributor, the general counsel of the Federal Election Commission concluded in February that there was "reason to believe'' Glicken knowingly sought contributions from a German developer, Thomas Kramer, who was a foreign national barred from contributing to U.S. campaigns.

Kramer's contributions were made in 1993 and 1994, before the current Justice Department and congressional probes into foreign donations to President Clinton's 1996 re-election.

The FEC last year fined Kramer a record $323,000 for making $418,600 in illegal campaign contributions to Republican and Democratic federal, state and local parties and candidates in 1993 and 1994.

The FEC decided not to pursue a case against Glicken, who has raised millions of dollars for the party and had been expected to play a role in Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.

An aide to Gore, requesting anonymity, said Glicken is not now involved with Gore and could foresee no role for him in Gore's future political activities.

In his report to the commission, general counsel Lawrence Noble said the "available evidence'' suggested Glicken brought in four contributions from Kramer to the Democrats. But since Glicken likely would contest the FEC's findings, the agency would have to conduct a full investigation and would not have time to complete it before the statute of limitations expired, Noble said.

Earlier, the task force brought charges against Democratic fund-raisers Charlie Trie, Maria Hsia, Johnny Chung and Yogesh Gandhi.

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