Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was sentenced on Tuesday to eight months in a community confinement center and five years of probation after pleading guilty to a campaign finance law violation.
The defendant, whose documentary “2016: Obama’s America” was a breakout box-office hit in 2012, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan. He was also given a $30,000 fine and ordered to do one day of community service a week during his probation.
D’Souza admitted in May to illegally reimbursing two “straw donors” who donated $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in New York of Wendy Long, a Republican.
The filmmaker didn’t speak publicly on Tuesday, but Gerald R. Molen, the executive producer on “Obama’s America,” told TheWrap that he was glad to hear his colleague would avoid prison.
“I am pleased to hear that my good friend Dinesh D’Souza will not have to serve any jail time for this ‘offense.’ I am thankful to Judge Berman for his work and for not giving in to pressure from the government which sought to lock up its number one critic,” he said.
D’Souza is a former policy analyst under President Ronald Reagan and a prolific author known most recently for works critical of Obama.
He made a splash in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election with “2016: Obama’s America,” which purported to detail how things would work out were the president re-elected. It took in more than $33 million at the domestic box office, and ranks as the second highest-grossing political documentary of all time, behind only Michael Moore‘s “Farenheit 9/11,” which took in $119 million in 2004.
“America,” D’Souza’s documentary followup to “2016,” was released in June and has taken in more than $14 million.