[See the update about gift cards.]
The Barack Obama campaign has raised millions of dollars in very questionable contributions. The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) won't say whether they're conducting an investigation, but they have asked the BHO campaign to explain or to return some of it.
That includes over $17,000 given in $25 increments by someone named "Good Will" and listing his employer as "Loving" and his occupation as "You". Someone using similar obviously false information donated even more, claiming to be from a different city.
It also includes millions of dollars from overseas. While past campaigns have placed stringent safeguards to ensure that all of that money was coming from U.S. citizens, the BHO campaign hasn't done the same:
The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less [note: more than half of the total]. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified...
...The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their "state" as "IR," often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as "UK," the United Kingdom...
...[about $200,000 might be legit, but other foreign contributions] came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.
Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran...
Much more at the link.
Something that would be interesting to know is whether you can donate to the BHO campaign using a Visa/MC/Amex gift card. Those have legitimate credit card numbers, but some don't require any personal information and all can be bought with cash.
10/6/08 UPDATE: I called the BHO campaign's donations line and a supervisor confirmed that they accept both debit cards and gift cards. The latter would allow large amounts of cash to be laundered to the BHO campaign, since some cards have maximum amounts of $500 or $1000. The supervisor was also aware that gift cards don't necessarily have indentifying information for the bearer attached to them, so she helpfully told me to enter my name in their donation form.
Hopefully someone can look into how much the BHO campaign has taken in from mostly untraceable sources like that.