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Dirty Money

The owner of a campaign services company is accused of conspiring with a former San Diego Police detective to illegally funnel hundreds of thousand of dollars to local candidates from a wealthy Mexican businessman.

The Latest

Tease photo: 4 Donors Fined $35K For Violating San Diego Campaign Finance Laws

4 Donors Fined $35K For Violating San Diego Campaign Finance Laws

The cases involved people who made $500 donations to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' failed 2012 mayoral run and then were reimbursed for the expense.

See How It All Began

Click full screen icon in the bottom right corner to view information alleged in a federal complaint that alleges local politicians received campaign donations that were illegally funneled from a Mexican businessman through an elaborate scheme. Additional information was independently verified by KPBS through a confidential source and through a review of public documents by media partner <em>inewsource</am>.(Images: KPBS, 10News, Facebook.)

The Background

Probe Of Illegal Campaign Contributions To San Diego Politicians Taking Shape

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Prosecutors say Mexican billionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura was the source of a scheme to commit campaign finance fraud "on a scale not seen in San Diego history."

Dumanis Wrote Letter For Mexican Donor's Relative

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A lawyer for a wealthy Mexican businessman accused of making illegal campaign donations sought Monday in federal court to release a recommendation letter that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis wrote for a relative of the foreign national.

Mexican Businessman Blames Sempra For Federal Campaign Finance Probe

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Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, a Mexican billionaire, is accused of illegally contributing more than $600,000 to San Diego campaigns using straw donors. Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to U.S. political campaigns.

Uncovering A Scandal

Why Is It So Hard To Catch Illegal Contributions?

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At the root of San Diego’s recent campaign finance scandal lies the topic of outside donations, and the illegality of foreign money used to influence stateside elections.

How To Uncover A Scandal From Your Couch

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A how-to guide for unraveling San Diego campaign finance scandal involving a straw donor, a "foreign national" and local politicians.

Unraveling A Scandal, Part Two

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We’ve updated the story to show the second half of the investigation — how we figured out the second candidate, the extent of the foreign national’s network, and more.

The "Foreign National"

Tease photo: “Foreign National” Azano Is “Almost A Legend” In Mexico

“Foreign National” Azano Is “Almost A Legend” In Mexico

The “foreign national” in the local campaign finance scandal is “almost a legend” in Mexico.

The Complaints

Illegal Campaign Cash Tied To 4 Prominent San Diego Politicians

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KPBS confirms candidates named in an unsealed federal complaint are San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, former Mayor Bob Filner, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Congressman Juan Vargas.

1/21/14Read more

San Diego Politicians Return Illegal Campaign Donations; Third Man Charged In Conspiracy

Federal officials confirm U. S. Attorney Duffy has recused herself from case
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A former U.S. Attorney said the former San Diego mayoral candidates did not violate any law if they didn’t know the source of the money was illegal.

1/22/14Read more