SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Congressman Ami Bera’s 83-year-old father was sentenced on Thursday for election fraud.
The Babulal Bera was charged with illegally funneling more than a quarter of a million dollars into his son’s campaign. He pleaded guilty to election fraud back in May.READ MORE: California’s Famed Giant Sequoias Wrapped In Aluminum As Wildfire Nears
Late Thursday morning, a federal judge sentenced Babulal to 12 months and one day in prison. The sentence will begin on Nov. 18.
Babulal tearfully read a letter asking the court to consider an option where he and his wife could remain together.
“I know I cannot survive without her and she will not survive without me,” Babulal said.READ MORE: Roseville Taqueria Nixtaco Gains National Attention
The judge said he genuinely believed Babulal’s pleas, but noted he didn’t want to send the public the wrong message – that someone could pay to get out committing serious crimes.
Babulal’s defense attorney had asked the judge to rule out prison and instead order a fine and probation.
Babulal is expected to serve at least 10 months in custody. He will also have to pay a $100,000 fine and will be on post-prison supervision for 36 months.
Ami Bera’s released the following statement after the sentenced was handed down:
“This is one of the most difficult moments my family has ever experienced. My dad is 83 years old and my mom is 82, and Janine and I are worried about both of my parents. Of course I’m absolutely devastated and heartbroken for how today’s decision will impact our entire family. But my father’s accepted what he did was wrong, he’s taken responsibility, and I love him more than words can express.”MORE NEWS: 1 Person Taken To Hospital After 2-Car Crash On Roseville Road
Ami Bera has represented California’s 7th congressional district since 2013. The district covers the eastern part of Sacramento County and Elk Grove.