Friday, October 28, 2005

Ohio Republican Fundraiser Charged with Making Illegal Campaign Contributions

Prominent Ohio Republican campaign fundraiser Thomas Noe was indicted for making illegal contributions to the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.  Noe has ties to a number of elected officials in Ohio, including Governor Taft, and the probe of his activities began when an investment in rare coins by the Ohio workers compensation fund that he arranged turned out to be nonexistent.  According to a press release issued by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio (here):

The three-count indictment returned today alleges that beginning in October 2003, Noe made contributions to President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign over and above the limits established by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). He did so, according to the indictment, in order to fulfill his pledge to raise $50,000 for a Bush-Cheney fundraiser held in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 30, 2003. The indictment alleges that Noe disguised his contributions by recruiting and providing money to friends and associates who made campaign contributions in their own names. The indictment also alleges that Noe wrote several checks in amounts slightly less than the maximum allowable amount so as to avoid suspicion. Altogether, Noe allegedly contributed $45,400 of his own money through 24 conduits.

Noe is charged with making contributions in the names of others, in violation of the FECA's anti-conduit provision. The indictment charges that Noe also conspired to make contributions in the names of others, to cause the submission of false statements to the Federal Election Commission, and to defraud the United States. The indictment alleges that Noe caused the conduits to fill out contribution cards and forms falsely certifying that they were making the contributions themselves, and that these false statements caused President Bush's campaign committee to unknowingly submit a false campaign finance report to the FEC. The campaign committee has been fully cooperative with the government’s investigation.


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