Donald Trump sure knows how to pick ‘em.
Just weeks after naming Madoff-money grabbing, poor-person evicting moneyman Steven Mnuchin, as his fundraiser-in-chief, Trump tapped venture capitalist Eliott Broidy as the vice-chair of the Trump Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee between Trump and the Republican National Committee.
In 2009, Broidy pleaded guilty to committing a felony by giving nearly $1 million in illegal gifts to state officials in order to secure a lucrative deal with New York’s public pension fund for his then-firm Markstone Capital Partners.
Broidy avoided jail time by blowing the whistle on the same people who accepted his bribes. He admitted to ponying up $75,000 for an all-expanses paid luxury trip to Jerusalem, which included first-class tickets, luxury hotel suites, a helicopter tour, and a personal driver for New York State’s comptroller and his family.
According to a 2009 New York Times article, “Prosecutors said the state invested $250 million in Markstone after Mr. Broidy showered officials with gifts and favors, including trips, payouts to friends and relatives, and a secret investment in an obscure movie called ‘Chooch,’ produced by an official’s brother.”
Broidy also paid $380,000 to a state official’s brother and another $90,000 to the girlfriend of another top official in the New York comptroller’s office.
In return, Briody’s firm pocketed a cool $18 million in management fees, a sum the company was forced to forfeit after the scandal was exposed.
Broidy did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
With the help of his new finance team, Trump is now tapping Hollywood for cash, looking to secure support from donors and special interest groups — including investor Thomas Barrack Jr., who’s hosting Trump’s first glitzy Los Angeles fundraiser on Wednesday evening.
The posh event will be the first of as many as 50 fundraisers. Guests paying $25,000 per person will receive a photo and can attend the reception and dinner. Anyone paying $100,000 per couple becomes a member of the host committee and also gets a Republican National Committee Regent membership, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Trump campaign expects the LA-area fundraiser to bring in $5 million, double the $2-2.5 million they originally sought.
The event comes as Democrats in Hollywood are growing increasingly nervous about the escalating rhetoric between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and its potential impact on the general election. As one insider told TheWrap recently, “There is growing hysteria in Hollywood right now around Donald Trump. People are terrified of the possibility of him in the White House.”