Guilty plea in blockbuster case of Mexican mogul illegally funneling campaign contributions to Filner, other Democrat US candidates

April 10, 2014


Case fuels concerns of illegal foreign interference in San Diego and US elections. Funneled money through Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

A San Diego businessman has pleaded guilty to funneling foreign campaign funds to local candidates including disgraced Mayor Bob Filner in a deal that could land him eight years in prison when he’s sentenced in November.

The Union Tribune reports La Jolla luxury car dealer Marc Chase has reached a deal with prosecutors for funneling a reported half million dollars to US candidates,  including then-Congressman Filner and Congressman Juan Vargas and San Diego area District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, on behalf of Mexican mogul Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, He also gave large donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC),

Marc Chase entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy, making campaign contributions by a foreign national and serving as a conduit for illegal contributions…[to support] the 2012 mayoral campaigns of Bob Filner and [District Attorney] Bonnie Dumanis and the congressional campaign of [Congressman] Juan Vargas ][all Democrats] court documents and other records show.

In January, “an assistant U.S. Attorney stated in open court that former San Diego mayor Bob Filner met Mexican millionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura and offered to hold up city development because the millionaire wanted to see San Diego turn into the next Miami.” The prosecutor also claimed, “[Filner] told [Matsura] that he did not have jurisdiction over the bay front but that he may be able to help the foreign national by holding up development on the Navy-Broadway Complex in downtown San Diego, so the foreign national could be put in a position to obtain control of that lease.”

The case exploded in January when it was revealed in court that in 2012 former Congressman and disgraced Mayor Bob Filner offered to delay a huge development to give Matsura an advantage in the race for the lease,

The case has highlighted the concerns of foreign interference in San Diego’s elections from south of the border. In the latest mayoral election, campaign signs for candidate David Alvarez appeared in Tijuana. The signs called on Tijuana residents to “Hayamos historia” (Let’s make history) invoking one of Alvarez’s messages of his campaign. According to the Union Tribune, the campaign was paid for by, “‘Amigos de David Alvarez,” No such PAC exists in San Diego County. Alvarez’s campaign denied having anything to do with the signs. Thirty two hundred expatriates claim San Diego as their home but have their ballots sent to another country.