Texas businessman pleads guilty to illegal campaign contributions

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The former head of a prominent Texas engineering firm whose company corporate offices, including here in Laredo, were raided by the FBI pleads guilty to illegal donations.

James Dannenbaum, 80, admitted to a federal judge that he helped employees make illegal donations to the re-election campaigns of a candidate for the U.S. Senate and two candidates for U.S. House of Representatives in a single year.

Dannenbaum and the company were charged with circumventing election law by making donations in employees' names to three congressional candidates.

This all comes amid the statewide raids that happened in 2017 that included Dannenbaum's Laredo office as well as raids at Laredo City Hall, Webb County Courthouse and other government buildings.

Those raids resulted in the plea deals of two former Laredo politicians Commissioner Jaime Canales and former councilmember Johnny Amaya for conspiracy to commit bribery.

Friday, Dannenbaum pleaded guilty to a single count of making contributions in the names of other people when he gave $10,000-$25,000 in a single year by illegal means.