Illegal payments bought Albania's Rama "date with Obama"

A Florida businessman has admitted to "a bizarre scheme" that allowed Edi Rama, now Albania's prime minister, to attend an event and meet with Barack Obama.


Serbia's state broadcaster RTS is quoting the website Politico, that is reporting, under the headline, "Albanian prime minister's date with Obama," that "illegal payments totaling USD 80,000 got Albanian politician Edi Rama an audience with U.S. President Barack Obama."

The website is citing filings from federal court in Newark, New Jersey that show William Argeros, as part of his plea bargain, admitting to felony charges of "aiding and abetting an illegal foreign political donation and making a false statement to a grand jury."

Argergos also "admitted to teaming up with New Jersey limousine driver Bilal Shehu to receive USD 80,000 from a foreign source and route it to the Obama Victory Fund."

That money was used to allow Rama to attend an Obama fundraiser in San Francisco, where he took a photo with Obama, and later used it "to suggest Obama supported his election, which he won following in June 2013."

There have been no charges against Rama in Albania or the U.S. for making illegal donations in the latter country.


page 1 of 15 go to page