Former city comptroller John Liu received $26,059 in fines from the New York City Campaign Finance Board related to a straw-donor scandal during his 2013 run for mayor.

The board voted Thursday to fine Liu even though he never received any campaign funds. Liu finished fourth in a five-way Democratic primary for mayor that Bill de Blasio won en route to his election.

John Liu, then New York City's comptroller, speaks during a television interview in New York on April 9, 2010.
John Liu was New York City comptroller from 2010 to 2013. Bloomberg News

Liu campaign treasurer Jenny Hou and fundraiser Oliver Pan were convicted of federal wire fraud charges, though Liu himself was never charged.

Roughly three-quarters, or $20,000, of Thursday’s fine was for what the board called “material representation and fraud.”

Other categories included failing to demonstrate compliance with intermediary reporting and documentation requirements; accepting contributions from corporations, limited liability companies, or partnerships; failing to document transactions; accepting over-the-limit contributions; and accepting a contribution from an unregistered political committee.

“[The] $26,000 fine imposed now 4 years after-the-fact is a laughable pittance compared to the $3.5 million penalty unjustly imposed on my campaign five weeks before the election in 2013,” Liu said in a statement to media.

Liu, a former City Council member from Queens, was comptroller from 2010 to 2013.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.
Paul Burton

Paul Burton

Paul Burton is the Northeast Regional Editor for The Bond Buyer and the author of the book "Tales from the Newsrooms." He is a sought-after public speaker and has appeared on radio and TV shows, including former CBS News White House correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s public-affairs program, “Full Measure.”