WASHINGTON -- At least $200,000 in contributions to President Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign came from donors that federal investigators now suspect were fictitious, including checks from several phony corporations and a $3,000 draft funneled through the account of a dead woman.
The most compelling evidence of this illegal practice comes from two strikingly similar checks that arrived at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee last August, on the day after Clinton's 50th birthday fund-raiser was held at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.
Both checks were solicited by John Huang, the fund-raiser who is at the center of the investigation into the financing of the 1996 Democratic campaign.
One check for $3,000 bore the name of Michele Lima, a New York City woman who died in 1986, according to investigators. The other, for $4,000, is signed with the name Hong Jen Chiao.
Election records list Chiao's address as the Democratic National Committee's office here. Yet investigators, who have failed to find Chiao, now suspect he does not exist.
Written on the same day and in a handwriting that appears identical, each check was made out to "Victor '96," an erroneous reference to "Victory '96," an organization committed to the re-election of Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
Pub Date: 6/06/97