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Fremont nonprofit group fined $25,000 for laundering contributions in 2008 mayoral race

FREMONT — A state agency has fined a nonprofit group $25,000 after discovering it had laundered campaign contributions to a Fremont mayoral candidate six years ago.

The Fair Political Practices Commission announced Monday that leaders of the Wisdom Culture and Education Organization, which offers courses in Chinese language and customs, made five illegal donations to ex-Councilman Steve Cho’s unsuccessful 2008 mayoral bid.

The Fremont organization’s leaders have agreed to pay the maximum fine for violating campaign law by making candidate contributions in the name of another person, according to the state agency decision.

“Making a contribution in another person’s name is one of the most serious types of violations … because it denies the public information about where a candidate receives his or her financial support,” the agency stated in its ruling.

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Chris DeBenedetti