Ohio businessman convicted in GOP donations case - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Ohio businessman convicted in GOP donations case

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CLEVELAND (AP) - A jury has convicted a northeast Ohio telemarketing millionaire of witness tampering in a case involving campaign contributions to two prominent Republican politicians.
    
Seventy-two-year-old Ben Suarez of North Canton was found guilty Monday in federal court in Cleveland on witness tampering charges. But he was acquitted on other counts.
    
Prosecutors had alleged Suarez used employees, relatives and others to donate $100,000 each to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci's (reh-NAY'-seez) 2012 congressional campaign and state Treasurer Josh Mandel's (man-DEHLZ') failed U.S. Senate bid.
    
Attorneys for Suarez argued in court that he reimbursed the contributors but didn't know it was illegal and shouldn't be found guilty.
    
The judge earlier dismissed two obstruction charges against Suarez, citing insufficient evidence.
    
His company's former chief financial officer pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Suarez.

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