Tags: Norman | Hsu

Dem Fundraiser Freaked Out

Monday, 10 Sep 2007 10:42 AM

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Disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was shirtless and shoeless and appeared “freaked out” when he was nabbed aboard an Amtrak train last week, a witness said.

“I thought he had a suitcase full of crack or meth,” Alberto Dee, a passenger on the Denver-bound train, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The train’s conductor thought Hsu, 56, was suffering from dementia, and he called 911. Hsu was taken to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., where the FBI placed him in custody.

At the hospital, a doctor asked Hsu, “Do you know where you are?” Hsu said, “Yes, I’m in a hospital,” the New York Daily News reported.

Hsu donated some $260,000 to Democratic Party groups and candidates since 2004, even though he was a fugitive for 15 years. He also reportedly raised more than $1 million for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

In 1991, Hsu pleaded no contest to grand theft after collecting about $1 million from investors by falsely claiming he had a contract to import latex gloves. Hsu failed to appear for sentencing, and was a fugitive until he turned himself in on Aug. 31.

However, Hsu failed to show up at a bail hearing and instead boarded the train from the San Francisco Bay area to Denver.

Clinton has said she would give to charity the $23,000 in donations she has received from Hsu. But a campaign spokesman said she would not return any money Hsu raised from other donors.

Other Democrats would have received money from Hsu include Al Franken, a Senate candidate in Minnesota; Reps. Michael Honda and Doris Matsui of California; Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania; and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

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