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Politics


Kasich turns money donated by Ben Suarez over to charity
The decision follows the federal indictment of Suarez and another Suarez Industries executive, accusing them of disguising corporate contributions to Mandel and Renacci campaigns
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Benjamin Suarez, founder of Suarez Industries, is accused of raising money for campaigns and then funneling the cash through employees and associates.
Courtesy of WKSU
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In The Region:

Gov. John Kasich is donating campaign contributions from an indicted businessman.  The move comes shortly after Kasich’s opponent – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald – asked the governor to return the funds.

(Click image for larger view.)

North Canton businessman Benjamin Suarez was indicted Wednesday, accused of using his employees to disguise nearly $200,000 in contributions to the political campaigns of Congressman Jim Renacci and Senate candidate Josh Mandel. 

The indictment does not include the $22,000 in contributions to Gov. John Kasich's campaign. But, according to Cleveland.com, Kasich decided today to turn the money over to the Ohio chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The decision followed pressure by Kasich's Democratic opponent in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, Ed FitzGerald.
Both Renacci and Mandel returned their contributions months ago.

The 72-year-old Suarez allegedly recruited people to make contributions in their names, and then had his direct-marketing firm's financial officer reimburse them through payments disguised as salaries and profit-sharing.

When word of the investigation broke in 2012, Suarez told the Repository in Canton that FBI agents were terrorizing his employees.          

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