Report: Firms sent $2.1M to Clinton donor

WASHINGTON - An Indonesian-born businessman received wire transfers from two Hong Kong companies at the same time he was contributing to President Clinton's re-election campaign, raising the possibility that Chinese money could have ended up in U.S. campaign coffers, Newsweek reported Sunday.

Confidential bank records examined by Newsweek showed that Ted Sioeng received the wire transfers from two holding companies that handled his business in China.

Sioeng's bank account received at least $2.1 million in transfers last year at the time he and his daughter were giving generously to the Democratic National Committee, the magazine said. His lawyer has said Sioeng contributed money from real estate profits and adamantly denies that Sioeng acted as an agent for China.

Investigators for Sen. Fred Thompson's Senate committee could produce no proof that Chinese officials bought influence by illegally funneling money to U.S. campaigns.

But Sioeng's bank accounts at the Grand National Bank in suburban Los Angeles prompted federal officials to convene a grand jury in Los Angeles to investigate him and other contributors, Newsweek said.

Investigators also are looking into why Sioeng flew Chinese provincial officials to the United States for "training courses" using Chinese money. His name also was mentioned in intercepted Chinese communications in which Beijing officials discuss how to influence U.S. politics, the newsmagazine said.

By The Associated Press



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