US Prosecutors Investigating Trump's Pakistani-American Donor

Imaad Zuberi, a Pakistani-American venture capitalist from California who gave $900,000 to President Trump’s inauguration committee in 2016, has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in New York's Southern District.

Imaad Zuberi and President Barack Obama
Zuberi's donation paid for a breakfast event, which featured Trump’s first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, among its 60 or so guests. It also included representatives from several countries around the world, according to media reports. Prosecutors suspect Zuberi funneled money from foreign donors which is a violation of the US Elections Laws, according to media reports.

Imaad Zuberi is vice chairman of private equity and venture capital firm Avenue Ventures. He has “closed over $15 billion in transactions” at the firm,  according to his Linked-in profile. His firm's clients include start-ups, major corporations and sovereign wealth funds.

Prior to donating to the Trump campaign, Zuberi is known to have also donated to Democratic Party candidates including former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In fact, Zuberi was a top fundraiser for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to data from Open Secrets.

He was born in 1970 in Albany, New York to a Pakistani father and an Indian mother.  He has an undergraduate  degree in business and finance from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Stanford University which he earned in 2006. He has kept up with the Pakistani community in Los Angeles, his home base, and as early as 2004 was raising money from them for John Kerry’s presidential campaign that year, to which he made his first contribution, a modest $1,000 donation, according to a story in Foreign Policy magazine.

Pakistani-American Billionaire Shahid Khan
Another high-profile Pakistani-American donor to Trump campaign is Jacksonville Jaguars' billionaire owner Shahid Khan who gave $1m in 2016.' Since Trump's election, Khan has criticized the president as one who has "shown leadership as the great divider".  Khan also spoke out Trump's travel ban on citizens of 7 Muslim countries.“You can’t confuse safety with religion or national origin,” Khan said. “That’s the point. But I have enough faith that things are going to eventually turn out well.”

There have been several Pakistani-American donors to US election campaigns in the news in recent years. Among them is Dr. Asad Qamar, a graduate of Lahore's King Edwards Medical College, who received $18.2 million in payments from US Medicare program in 2012, making him the second highest billing doctor in America. Dr. Qamar is a member of APPNA, Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America. He was a candidate for the presidency of APPNA in 2013.

Asad Qamar M.D.
Dr. Qamar, a Pakistani-American cardiologist, and his family have given at least $300,000 to politicians and political causes in the 2012 election cycle and in 2013, according to contribution disclosure records reported by Reuters. Dr. Asish Pal, a Florida-based Indian-American, is the second highest billing cardiologist in America. Dr. Pal was paid $4.5 million by Medicare.

Dr. Qamar has been subjected to lengthy reviews of his billing practices by US Department of Health and Human Services. He has complained to President Obama and other officials that the contractors conducting the reviews for the HHS were slow and unresponsive. Dr. Qamar told New York Times that his payments were high because his practice, which has 150 employees and a caseload of 23,000 patients, routinely handles complicated procedures like opening blocked arteries in the legs of older patients, which normally would be billed by a hospital.

Only Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida Ophthalmologist, billed Medicare for a larger amount than Dr. Qamar did in 2012. Dr. Melgen, too, is a major contributor to Democratic party. Dr. Melgen’s firm donated more than $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super PAC run by former aides to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. The super PAC then spent $600,000 to help re-elect Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who is a close friend of Dr. Melgen’s. Last year, Mr. Menendez himself became a target of investigation after the senator intervened on behalf of Dr. Melgen with federal officials and took flights on his private jet, according to The Times story.

Pakistani-American community is beginning to participate in the American political processes not only as donors but also as voters and candidates for public offices. In 2018 elections, Pakistani-American attorney Javed Ellahie was among 5 American Muslims elected to local office in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's a sign American voters are ready for diverse leadership despite troubling increases in hate crimes nationwide, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations. Across America, there are 55 American Muslim candidates who won election to public offices, 11 of them in California, according to CAIR. Two Muslim American women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, were elected to the United States Congress in 2018.

Related Links:

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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Brooklyn unveils #street sign for founder of #Pakistan.The location saw a jubilant scene Friday as community members tossed confetti, waved #American and #Pakistani flags for the unveiling of "Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way." #NewYork #QuaideAzam https://in.amny.com/2Dr0bOO via @amNewYork

The intersection of Coney Island and Foster avenues in Brooklyn was witness to a jubilant scene Friday, as community members tossed confetti and waved American and Pakistani flags for the unveiling of "Muhammad Ali Jinnah Way."

The co-naming of the intersection after the founder of modern Pakistan was the realization of a longtime goal of the Pakistani American Youth Organization (PAYO), a nonprofit based in Midwood, which hopes an official designation of the neighborhood as "Little Pakistan" will soon follow.

“I think [the co-naming] is a great way to show homage," said Councilman Jumaane Williams, who supported the co-naming and revealed the signage at the ceremony. "You see the impact that 9/11 had for this community, the un-American feeling that was here was palpable. So many organizations opened up to try to bring back that sense of community, so when PAYO reached out to do this renaming it made sense. I was excited to do this.”

The unveiling was followed by steaming trays of samosas and jalebi, a bright orange Pakistani sweet. As attendees ate and celebrated, speakers took to the podium to commemorate the co-naming, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilman Mathieu Eugene, and Zubda Malik, the general secretary of PAYO.

“I don’t have words to explain; this is not just a sign," said Waqil Ahmed, president of PAYO, who also called it a symbol of acceptance.

In the 1940s, Jinnah played a prominent role in the partition of Pakistan from India in order to establish an independent Muslim state. He succeeded in his negotiations with Britain and was pronounced the first governor-general of Pakistan in August 1947.

“When the kids see the sign they will be proud to explain he’s the founder of Pakistan," Ahmed said.

The mile-long stretch of Coney Island Avenue between Newkirk Avenue and Avenue H has been a destination for Pakistani immigrants since the ’80s. The area became informally known as “Little Pakistan” among residents as the area filled with Pakistani restaurants and shops while Urdu became the language of the streets.
Riaz Haq said…
Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) Honors #Pakistani #American #Oilman S. Javaid Anwar with Top Hand Award. #Texas https://www.mrt.com/business/oil/article/PBPA-honors-S-Javaid-Anwar-with-Top-Hand-Award-13544304.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Desktop)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral via @mwtnews

S. Javaid Anwar received the Top Hand Award from the Permian Basin Petroleum Association Thursday at a dinner at the Petroleum Club.

The award adds to his growing list of accolades, which include the Hope award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Outstanding Philanthropist award from the Permian chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals. Anwar, president and chief executive officer of Midland Energy and of Petroplex Energy, was appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board by Abbott.

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