SF fundraiser convicted for illegal donations

July 11, 2008 6:44:24 PM PDT
A federal jury has convicted a San Francisco fundraiser for illegally funneling state grant money to the campaign of former secretary of state Kevin Shelley.

Julie Lee, a 61-year-old real estate agent, was convicted on two counts of mail fraud and three counts of attempted witness tampering. Those counts say she tried to persuade three people to give false information to federal agents.

The investigation revolved around campaign contributions Lee's associates made to Shelley while he was running for secretary of state in 2002.

While he was a state lawmaker, Shelley helped secure a $500,000 state grant for Lee's foundation. The money was intended to develop a community center.

Instead, federal prosecutors said Lee funneled $125,000 from the grant into Shelley's campaign using the intermediaries. There is no indication Shelley knew about the illegal donations.

She was acquitted on two counts of mail fraud.