Norman Hsu (born 1951) was a leading Democrat fund-raiser in 2000. Hsu is a staunch supporter of Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, raising nearly $100,000 for her Democrat primary race. In 2000 he raised over $1 million for Hillary Clinton's senatorial race.
Hsu pleaded no contest to felony count of grand theft in 1991 and failed to appear in court for the sentencing. A warrant was issued in 1992 and orders were for a $2 million bail for Hsu if he were arrested. Hsu was found to have collected about $1 million from investors by falsely claiming he had a contract to import latex gloves. Hsu was sentenced on January 4, 2008 to 3 years in prison.
Ronald Smetana, a California deputy attorney general who prosecuted the case, believed that the Hong Kong native has fled the United States, and said in August 2007, "We would obviously like Mr. Hsu to return and face justice." Hsu had turned himself in on Friday August 31 to authorities in California but failed to appear for his bail reduction hearing on Wednesday, September 5, 2007, leading many to speculate that he left the country again to take refuge in refuge in China or Hong Kong. The disappearance led to much controversy because officials failed twice to carry out an order to apprehend Hsu's passport the Monday before the hearing. Two days after Hsu had failed to appear before the scheduled hearing, the FBI apprehended him at about 7:00 p.m. MDT in Grand Junction, Colorado, after he had taken ill aboard an Amtrak train, and checking in to a local hospital. Hsu was discharged from the hospital on September 12, 2007, and booked into a local Colorado jail. Before he skiped the hearings, Hsu typed out a suicide note and sent copies to several acquaintances and charitable organizations.
Hsu incident has not been the first incident of illegal campaign funding towards the Clinton's. In 1997, Bill Clinton was investigated for a campaign fund-raising scandal, and a report found that four persons were linked to large illicit contributions thought to have come from China's government through Hong Kong. These past instances have led some to question Hillary Clinton's plea of innocence in the matter.
Hsu has been found to have contributed to a number of Democrats including Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell; New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine; Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy; California Senator Dianne Feinstein; Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator John Kerry, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken.
- Democratic Fundraiser Norman Hsu Sentenced to 3 Years in Calif. Fraud Case, Associated Press, Fox News, January 4, 2008