REPORT: Candidate Allegedly Received $162,000 In Taxpayer Funds After Faking Donations

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Jeff Charles Contributor
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A New York state assembly candidate allegedly falsified donations to get more public funding for his campaign, according to an investigation.

Dao Yin, a Chinese-American in Flushing, Queens has allegedly faked campaign donations from members of the community who claim they did not make the donations, according to a New York Times investigative report. He is currently running in the Democratic primary to challenge Assemblyman Ron Kim. (RELATED: ‘Appearances Matter’: Chicago Mayor Spent Over $30,000 In Campaign Funds On Hair And Makeup In One Year)

Campaign records show small donations from people like taxi driver Ahmad Zadran, who is said to have given $40 to Yin’s campaign. His brother and son were listed as giving $25 and $50, respectively, the report noted.

“This is crazy,” Raheem Zadran told the news outlet. “I never donated to this guy. I don’t know who the hell he is.”

His father Ahmad told reporters, “I never donate a penny to anybody.”

The New York Times canvassed the district, speaking with those listed as donors to Yin’s campaign. Di Fan Shen, 88, said campaign filings listing him as a donor were “fake” and insisted, “We don’t get involved in politics.”

In at least one case, one of the listed donors reportedly no longer lives in Yin’s district. Faaizah Abdul-Mani, who was said to have contributed $25 to his campaign told the New York Times, “I don’t even live in Flushing anymore. I moved to Pennsylvania in 2019.”

New York City’s Campaign Finance program provides public funding for candidates running for office. Under the program, those seeking statewide office can have their funds matched based on small donations between $5 and $250, according to the state’s website.

The candidate allegedly received nearly $163,000 in taxpayer funding after reporting almost $28,000 in donations mostly from small-dollar donors, according to The Times’ report.

When asked about the discrepancies, Yin told the New York Times that he had collected the donations himself and could not explain why some claimed not to have donated to him. He suggested that it could have been a mistake on his part. “The only answer that I can provide you is that 18 (if you said 18 donors) out of 400-500 donors could be a mistake from my campaign,” he said in an email to the New York Times.

Yin’s campaign office denied the claims made by the New York Times and told the Daily Caller that the allegations were a political attack made by Yin’s opponent ahead of the election.

“Mr. Yin is profoundly saddened by the New York Times Article insinuating that he collected the New York State Matching through ‘Fake Donations,’ of which he has no recollection of claimed donors,” Yin’s campaign told the Caller. “Mr. Yin is a complete outsider in terms of fundraising for his campaign.”