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Imaad Zuberi donated big to Trump's inauguration. Now prosecutors have questions

Alexa Diaz, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

LOS ANGELES -- When federal prosecutors subpoenaed President Donald Trump's inaugural committee Monday, they reportedly showed particular interest in its dealings with one donor: Imaad Zuberi.

Zuberi donated $900,000 to the committee through a company named Avenue Ventures, according to data from Open Secrets. The subpoena requests all communications the committee had with him and the company, multiple news reports said, citing unidentified sources.

Zuberi has been described as a Los Angeles venture capitalist, but he seems much more prominent in politics than in the local tech scene. So who is he? Here's what we know.

BIG FUNDRAISER

Zuberi was a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, according to data from Open Secrets.

From 1990 to 2017, he was credited with making more than $2 million in political contributions. His recipients have included a slew of Democratic candidates and groups, but they are not exclusively Democrats. Zuberi has also donated to the campaigns of Republican candidates -- including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky and then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California -- as well as the Republican National Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee.

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In 2017, The New York Times reported that after the $900,000 donation from Avenue Ventures to Trump's inaugural committee, Zuberi was granted attendance to the Chairman's Global Dinner, "a pre-inauguration, black-tie gathering intended to introduce the incoming president to the foreign diplomatic corps."

BUSINESS VENTURES

Zuberi's LinkedIn page identifies him as vice chairman of private equity and venture capital firm Avenue Ventures. He has "closed over $15 billion in transactions" at the firm, whose clients include start-ups, major corporations and sovereign wealth funds, the page says.

Avenue Ventures does not appear to have a working website and could not be reached for comment.

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