Chatwal pleads guilty to donation missteps

Hampshire Hotels & Resorts Chairman Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday to witness tampering and conspiracy to evade campaign finance laws. Names of the candidates he donated money to were not identified.

According to the Justice Department, Chatwal made more than US$180,000 in donations to three candidates via straw donors, who were then reimbursed. Chatwal reportedly raised at least US$100,000 for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama.

The Justice Department also said Chatwal tampered with a witness to try and interfere with a grand jury probe.

Chatwal, who recently stepped down as CEO of the hotel company, told CNBC on Thursday that he regrets his actions, takes full responsibility and plans to resolve the matters.