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Convicted Democratic donor Ed Buck ordered to pay $250,000 in fines and restitution

The restitution will go toward the funeral costs the families of Buck's victims had to pay as well as to his surviving victims.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — Millionaire Democratic donor Ed Buck, who last year was convicted for the drug-related deaths of two men, was ordered to pay a $200,000 fine and $47,000 in restitution on top of his 30-year prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder at a hearing Friday denied Buck's request to stay payment of the fine to the government and the restitution to his surviving victims and the families of the deceased men for their funeral costs until after his appeal had been decided.

"It would be unfair to these people to wait when they had to pay out monies that were substantial to them," Snyder said.

The judge said the $400,000 fine the prosecution had asked for seemed "excessive" in the light of his prison sentence.

Buck's lawyer, Mark Werksman, argued against the imposition of any fine, saying that his client owned $100,000 to his 94-year-old mother that she had advanced him for his defense and that he was still facing civil lawsuits by his victims.

Buck, 67, has denied he was responsible for the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean. They died as a result of what prosecutors said was Buck's “deadly practice of luring people, typically young Black men, and those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and/or poverty, to his West Hollywood apartment” and injecting them, sometimes against their will, with methamphetamine and other drugs.

Born in Ohio, Buck has said that he made enough money from “several business ventures,” to retire in his 30s. He moved to West Hollywood in 1991 and lived in the same drab three-bedroom rent-controlled apartment for the next 30 years. He was a fixture in West Hollywood politics, often giving public comment at the City Council meetings, and running unsuccessfully for the part-time council in 2007. He is credited with helping to convince the council to ban the sale of fur in West Hollywood, making it the first city in the country to do so.

He donated more than half a million dollars to various Democratic politicians including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Gavin Newsom, candidates and political action committees between 2008 and 2017.

Buck has said that in his mid-forties, he was prescribed amphetamine to treat his narcolepsy, which eventually grew into a methamphetamine addiction.

During the two-week trial, a chorus of victims testified about their experiences with Buck who, according to prosecutors, “treated them like lab rats in his twisted experiments.” Buck cultivated relationships with numerous Black men, some of whom were prostitutes, others drug addicts, others poor — at times all three. They were enticed into Buck’s orbit by the promise of money, shelter and drugs.

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