A major campaign contributor to Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) allegedly defrauded the federal government out of at least $3.6 million that was supposed to be used to research vaccines to combat deadly diseases.
Jian-Yun "John" Dong, the president of the South Carolina-based biotechnology firm GenPhar, and his estranged wife are accused of making at least $31,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Graham and his political action committee. GenPhar was Graham's sixth largest contributor between 2005 and 2010, with $46,269 in donations coming from GenPhar employees.
The indictments came down in April, but federal authorities didn't unseal the charges until Monday. Federal prosecutors allege Dong took $30,000 from a German national and funneled that money to support Graham's reelection. Graham's treasurer said that they were cooperating with federal authorities.
"Campaign officials met with authorities in October 2010 and provided information pertinent to the investigation," said Thad Westbrook, treasurer of Lindsey Graham for Senate and Fund for America's Future. "Our campaign has and will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation."
Most of the money Dong is accused of taking apparently came from a $4.2 million grant GenPhar received in 2005. The Post and Courier reports:..........................................