NEW YORK, May 20 (Reuters) - The conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a campaign finance law violation, averting a trial that had been expected to begin the same day in Manhattan federal court.
D'Souza pleaded guilty to one criminal count of making illegal contributions in the names of others. A second count concerning the making of false statements is expected to be dismissed once the defendant is sentenced.
The plea came four months after Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged D'Souza with using straw donors to give funds in 2012 to Wendy Long, a Republican Senate candidate in New York who ultimately lost to Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand.
D'Souza entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan. (Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by James Dalgleish)