Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

San Diego Lobbyist Tied To Illegal Campaign Finance Scheme To Be Released On Bond

Marco Polo Cortes is a San Diego lobbyist who was named in a federal complaint as a co-conspirator in a scheme to illegally funnel funds from a foreign national to the campaigns of local politicians.
Facebook
Marco Polo Cortes is a San Diego lobbyist who was named in a federal complaint as a co-conspirator in a scheme to illegally funnel funds from a foreign national to the campaigns of local politicians.

A San Diego lobbyist who federal prosecutors say conspired to funnel illegal campaign funds to local politicians is expected to be released on bail.

All of the background information on campaign contributions illegally funneled from a wealthy Mexican businessman to local candidates.

Marco Polo Cortes was granted a $100,000 bond secured by real property, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego. Cortes will remain in custody until it is posted.

Cortes has been jailed since Jan. 21 for his alleged involvement in an elaborate scheme to help a Mexican businessman — whom sources have identified as Jose Susumo Azano Matsura — contribute to the campaign of four San Diego politicians.

Cortes was named in a federal complaint detailing the scheme that was unsealed last week.

A separate federal complaint identified retired San Diego police detective Ernesto Encinas and Washington, D.C.-based campaign services CEO Ravneet Singh, as co-conspirators.

All three men face five years behind bars and $250,000 fine.

Azano has not been charged but reportedly has hired a D.C. law firm to help in a potential defense. Last week, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided two Coronado homes linked to Azano.

A preliminary hearing for Cortes, Encinas and Singh is set for Feb. 4.

Corrected: September 29, 2022 at 8:54 PM PDT
KPBS reporter Amita Sharma contributed to this story.
What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.