Real estate developer Arthur Winn pleaded guilty today in US District Court in Boston to making illegal campaign contributions as part of an effort to obtain public funding for his ultimately failed Columbus Center project.
The 72-year-old Winn spoke in a low husky voice throughout the 20-minute proceeding, admitting during a series of questions posed by US Chief Magistrate Judith Dein that he illegally gave $61,000 to an array of politicians between 2001 and 2008. Winn faces a fine of $200,000 and a prison sentence of up to six months, according to the guidelines agreed upon by his attorney and the government.
His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.
Although Winn acknowledged making tens of thousands of dollars of illegal donations, he was only charged with two misdemeanor counts involving $4,500 in contributions to US Reps. Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano. The remainder of the $61,000 was either outside the statute of limitation or involved contributions to state candidates that are not governed by federal law.
Winn brushed passed reporters after the proceeding and declined comment. His daughter, walking alongside Winn, asked a reporter to ‘please leave my father alone.’
Winn’s attorney, Tracy A. Miner, said after the proceeding that she will argue that Winn should not go to jail.
“Prison time is not warranted in this case,” she said. “It’s a misdemeanor.”Casey Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.