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UPDATE: Nestande Terminates Contract with D.C.-Based 'Guru' at Center of Campaign Finance Scandal

The Evening Star Building at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., home to Fundraising By Net, LLC and ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. Photo credit Ghosts of D.C.
The Evening Star Building at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., home to Fundraising By Net, LLC and ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. Photo credit Ghosts of D.C.
Update 6:50 p.m. State Assemblyman Brian Nestande's campaign for congress has terminated its contract with a fundraising site operated by self-proclaimed "campaign guru" Ravneet Singh, who is accused of conspiring with a former San Diego police detective to steer more than $500,000 in illegal foreign money to municipal and federal campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

Brian Harnik, Nestande's congressional campaign chairman, released a statement Thursday evening on behalf of the Palm Desert Republican that says in part:

"Assemblyman Brian Nestande has not received any campaign donations from Mr. Singh or any of his companies. Mr. Nestande does not know Mr. Singh and has never met Mr. Singh. The Nestande campaign purchased email blast services for about one thousand dollars from what we now know is a company related to Mr. Singh. The campaign has terminated its contract and is searching for a new vendor to provide the email blast services."

Records filed with the Federal Election Commission show Nestande for Congress made expenditures of $1,310 in July and August to Fundraising By Net, LLC, which is part of Singh's brainchild, ElectionMall Technologies, Inc., of Washington, D.C.

Posted 4:32 p.m. State Assemblyman Brian Nestande's run for congress has paid more than $1,300 to a fundraising site operated by self-proclaimed "campaign guru" Ravneet Singh, who is accused of conspiring with a former San Diego police detective to steer more than $500,000 in illegal foreign money to municipal and federal campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

Records filed with the Federal Election Commission show expenditures of $1,310 were made by Nestande for Congress in July and August to Fundraising By Net, LLC, which is part of Singh's brainchild, ElectionMall Technologies, Inc., of Washington, D.C.

Nestande, R-Palm Desert, and his campaign, Nestande for Congress, did not respond to requests for comment Thursday afternoon.

Singh was arrested by FBI agents Friday Jan. 17, pursuant to an arrest warrant, according to the Department of Justice.

Singh, ElectionMall Inc., and Ernesto Encinas are named as defendants in a 15-page criminal complaint filed Tuesday Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of California. Singh was arraigned Tuesday in San Diego.

Singh is president, CEO and founder of ElectionMall Inc., which specializes in providing social media services to political campaigns throughout the world, according to the complaint.

Encinas is the owner of a San Diego-based private security and consulting business, and he oversaw a protection detail for an individual identified in the complaint as "the Foreign National," a Mexican citizen and wealthy businessman with residences in California.

The Mexican businessman is Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, who owns a home in Coronado, U-T San Diego reported. He was not named in the complaint, but federal documents included enough info to identify him.

Singh works primarily out of his offices in the Nation's Capital, and he "helped the Foreign National make campaign contributions to candidates for elective office in San Diego," the complaint states.

The FBI is investigating Singh, ElectionMall Inc., Encinas, "the Foreign National," and unnamed others "with respect to, among other things, possible illegal campaign contributions and expenditures, as well as potential conspiracies to deprive the public of honest services through the improper influence of San Diego city officials," the complaint states.

Several San Diego political figures began returning donations Wednesday that were made to their campaigns by Encinas, Coronado Patch reported.

Under federal law, "foreign nationals" are prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in connection with any American electoral campaign - at federal, state or local levels, according to the Justice Department.

Fundraising By Net, LLC and ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. share the same address in the Nation's Capital: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., 6th Floor. The 13-floor structure, built in 1898 between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, was home to the 130-year-old Washington Star until its demise in 1981, and it is known today as the Evening Star Building. It's listed in the National Register as a Historic Landmark.

ElectionMall terms and services state:

ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. (EMT) makes information available on this site, subject to the following terms and conditions and all applicable laws. By accessing and using this site, you accept the following terms and conditions, without limitation or qualification. By using this site you may also subject yourself to the terms and services of Fundraising By Net, LLC (FBN) and all other affiliated sites.

Nestande currently represents the 42nd Assembly District, which includes Banning, Beaumont, Cabazon, Calimesa, Cherry Valley, Hemet, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Mentone, Morongo Valley, Oak Glen, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, San Jacinto, Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley.

Nestande announced his run for the 36th Congressional District in May 2013. Here's the Patch report:

Nestande Confirms Congressional Challenge in 36th District

For more info about the 42nd Assembly District visit http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/AD42.

For more about Nestande's campaign expenditures visit www.fec.gov. For more about Nestande for Congress see www.briannestande.com.

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