Non-US Citizens Funnel Money into Sanders Campaign

o-piles-of-american-money-facebookThe principal campaign committee fund-raising for Bernie Sanders is accepting donations from non-U.S. citizens, which is prohibited under federal law. Bernie 2016 was accepting these donations as far back as 2015 and as late as January 2016.

As a result, hundreds of Foreign Nationals must have their prohibited contributions to the Bernie Sanders’ campaign returned.

A week ago, the Treasurer of Bernie 2016, the principal campaign committee for Bernie Sanders, responded to a Federal Elections Commission review of its 2015 Year End report. Susan Jackson, the official handling the finances, was obligated under federal law to answer this Request for Additional Information (RFAI).

The Commission had combed through the reports filed by the committee for 2015 and found 43 pages of potential violations. These issues included everything from failed disclosure to faulty accounting to excessive donations and prohibited contributions by Foreign Nationals.

Jackson’s reply to the FEC admitted that 106 contributors could not be verified as U.S. Citizens or legal residents and that their donations would be refunded (See full list below). The names of these donors was listed; but the exact amount of their donations was not revealed.

View the official 43-page FEC Request For Additional Information, dated 11 February 2016.

For more details on Jackson’s response, see Bernie 2016 Returns 200+ Donations to Remedy Campaign Finance Issues from 2015

However, this was just the first round of problems for the campaign committee. When Bernie 2016 filed its report for the month of January, still more donations were flagged.

fec_corner_logoOn 25 February, the FEC sent an RFAI covering January 2016. Once again, impermissible donations from people with addresses outside the U.S. were found. Again, the Treasurer for Sanders’ campaign fund-raiser was reminded of federal laws:

Schedule A-P (see attached) discloses a contribution(s) from an individual(s) who has a mailing address outside of the United States of America. Please be advised that 52 U.S.C. § 30121(a) (formerly 2 U.S.C. § 441e(a)) and 11 CFR § 110.20 prohibit foreign nationals from making contributions in connection with any election for political office or in connection with any primary election, convention, or caucus held to select candidates for any political office.

View the RFAI covering January 2016, including a list of “Contributions from Individuals with Foreign Addresses”.

The FEC ordered Jackson to comply with these laws by 31 March:

If you have received a contribution from a foreign national, you must refund the impermissible contribution to the donor in accordance with 11CFR § 103.3(b). Please inform the Commission of your corrective action immediately in writing and provide a photocopy of your check for the refund. (25 February 2016 RFAI)

On 25 March, Bernie 2016 filed an amended report to the FEC, showing refunds to individuals totaling $684,455.53. The amended report covers several months in 2015. It’s not clear whether the refunds were for excessive contributions or prohibited donations by Foreign Nationals or something else.

Bernie 2016 has yet to report its campaign finance disclosure for February.


The Committee did not receive confirmation of citizenship or residence status and therefore issued refunds earlier this month to the following donors. These refunds will be reflected in the Committee’s April Monthly Report.

  1. Aaron Atkins
  2. Aaron Windel
  3. Abigail Yue Wang
  4. Alaa Ujayli
  5. Alan Groves
  6. Aleksander Waage
  7. Alisaun Fukugaki
  8. Anallee Pepper
  9. Anders Ecklof
  10. Anthony Curwen
  11. Bradley Goodman
  12. Brooke Lhernould
  13. Bruce Stores
  14. Charles Grinstead
  15. Charles Newman
  16. Cheryl Mathieu
  17. Christopher Kraybill
  18. Clive Moon
  19. Craig Higgins
  20. Dale Dreckman
  21. Daniel Boyd
  22. Daniel Coffey
  23. Darla Nordstrom
  24. David Borgendale
  25. David Peacock
  26. David Thompson
  27. Deaglan McManus
  28. Donald Ferrin
  29. Donnette Thayer
  30. Dorothy Dufour
  31. Douglas Kent
  32. Erik Hardeng
  33. Frederick Woolworth
  34. Gary Cornelius
  35. Gary Gebhardt
  36. Grant Lovering
  37. Harry Bingham
  38. Imre Bidtnes
  39. J Doherty
  40. Jane Piper
  41. Janis Kenyon
  42. Jay Van de Wint
  43. Jedediah Sklower
  44. Jerimy Abner
  45. John Graves
  46. John McCreery
  47. John Painter
  48. Jonathan Sachs
  49. Jonathan Schlaff
  50. Karl Ehrlich
  51. Karl Kaufman
  52. Kelly Morrissey
  53. Kim McQuaite
  54. Kylie Gutry
  55. Larry Tabick
  56. Laurent Normand
  57. Laurie Bloom
  58. Leslie Bellas
  59. Linn Peterson
  60. Malinda Crispin
  61. Margaret Kelly
  62. Mark Collins
  63. Mark Harrick
  64. Mark Hodge
  65. Mark Tipperman
  66. Markus Buechting
  67. Mary De Lyrot
  68. Michael Hitzhusen
  69. Michael Sever
  70. Mike Mills
  71. Miya Tokumitsu
  72. Nicholas Reckert
  73. Niki Korda
  74. Ossie Sharon
  75. Pamela Price
  76. Paula Chavez
  77. Peter Claghorn
  78. Pymma Zatyz Handayani
  79. Randal Richins
  80. Raquel Luzi Steiner
  81. Robert Costanza
  82. Ronald Davis
  83. Ronald Phillips
  84. Ross Dunne
  85. Russell Westbrook
  86. Rustyn Mesdag
  87. Sam Wise
  88. Sean Gentry
  89. Sophie Siebert
  90. Stephanie Miller
  91. Stephen Stapleton
  92. Susan Bloom
  93. Susan Savage
  94. Susan Swift
  95. Susan Woudenberg
  96. Tahir Sharif
  97. Terence Kim
  98. Terrance Wapshall
  99. Thomas McNamara
  100. Thomas Shuler
  101. Tracy Wyman
  102. Victor Policheri
  103. Walter Hedrick
  104. William Clay
  105. William Sherlock
  106. Woodruff Benson


    1. That’s correct. Then the campaign confirmed that yes, indeed, those contributors were not U.S. citizens or legal residents, and refunded their donations.


  1. It seems the only people capable of compiling this list would be the Sanders campaign. Sounds like they included the number of donations that came in from foreign donors in their report to the FEC.


  2. The non-Federal non-government affiliated U.S. Chamber of Commerce collects bribes from foreign governments and corporations, and pores them into U.S. Elections. The scale of these gifts is likely many thousand times the illegal donations to Bernie Sanders. Balancing truth with a truth of scale is also important. Any abdication of that duty lends the taint of half truth to an article.


    1. This is a false equivalency.
      The Chamber of Commerce is legally allowed to donate to political campaigns, thanks to Citizens United.
      Foreign citizens are not legally allowed to donate to U.S. political campaigns.
      This isn’t about “scale”. It’s about legality.


    1. I have no idea but it’s illegal to accept money from foreign sources for any candidate running for office in this country. The FEC has a very long list online (do a google) of the infractions of Sen. Sanders Campaign in a long letter to the Sanders Campaign letting them know it’s illegal. (Google (… this affidavit is correct and as presented in this article.


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