Trial scheduled to begin in campaign probe

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The trial of a northeast Ohio businessman accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions to two Republican candidates is scheduled to begin.

The trial of 72-year-old Benjamin Suarez is set to open Monday morning in federal court in Cleveland.

The millionaire Stark County businessman is accused of funneling about $100,000 each to the 2012 re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. James Renacci and to the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Both campaigns returned the contributions after learning of allegations that Suarez and Michael Giorgio conspired to bundle contributions in the names of employees and their spouses.

Giorgio, the chief financial officer for Suarez Corporation Industries in North Canton, pleaded guilty to similar charges May 19 and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

 

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