Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza was sentenced today in New York to eight months in a community confinement center and five years of probation for violating federal campaign finance laws. D’Souza, co-director and star of 2016: Obama’s America, the second-most-successful political documentary in U.S. box office history, was indicted in January on charges he illegally donated more than $20,000 to the unsuccessful 2012 GOP Senate campaign of Wendy Long through two other people. He originally pleaded not guilty but reversed his plea on the eve of a trial back in late May.
Prior to the sentencing hearing, prosecutors had asked for the maximum of 10-16 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman today instead also fined D’Souza $30,000 and ordered him to do one day of community service a week during the probation period, Reuters reported.
The guilty plea did little to dampen the response this year to D’Souza’s latest pic. America: Imagine the World Without Her ended up as the sixth-most-successful political docu in U.S. domestic box office history. His book of the same name topped the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list this summer.
While Michael Moore’s 2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 is the highest-grossing domestic docu, D’Souza’s 2016 made more than $34 million after its July 2012 release during the heart of President Obama’s successful re-election campaign. The documentary, co-directed by former Reagan administration staffer D’Souza and John Sullivan, posited what a second Obama term might look like.
The White House officially panned the pic, move that gave the the movie more attention than intended.