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Rep. Ami Bera's father released from prison after serving time for campaign cash scheme

Babulal Bera, left, walks into Sacramento's federal courthouse for his sentencing last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Babulal Bera, left, walks into Sacramento's federal courthouse for his sentencing last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Rep. Ami Bera’s father, who was convicted for running a money laundering scheme to help finance his son’s campaigns, was released from federal custody Thursday.

Babulal Bera, 84, had been sentenced last year to one year and one day.

He was incarcerated in a federal prison on Terminal Island until July 29 and then transferred to a halfway house, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Bera was released before the end of his sentence because he earned credit for good behavior. 

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Ami Bera, a Democrat from Elk Grove, narrowly won reelection after his father’s conviction and has denied any knowledge of the laundering operation.

The elder Bera solicited donations from family and friends for congressional campaigns in 2010 and 2012, then reimbursed them for the money, prosecutors said. At least $260,000 in illegal contributions were made.

“It’s been a very tough year for me and my entire family and we are happy to have him home," Ami Bera said in a statement. "Janine and I are grateful to the hundreds of people who kept my parents in their thoughts and prayers.”

He is running for reelection next year, and he’s facing challengers from both sides of the aisle. Brad Westmoreland, an attorney, is running as a Democrat. Business executive and Marine veteran Andrew Grant and surgeon Yona Barash are running as Republicans.

This post has been updated with more details on Babulal Bera's incarceration and a comment from the congressman.

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