News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Knight Foundation

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Was Suarez savvy or suckered when it came to Mandel, Renacci donations?
Prosecutors say a paper trail leads to Suarez's guilt, but the defense claims the businessman's former CFO made the illegal decisions
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
The federal courthouse in Cleveland where Canton businessman Ben Suarez is defending himself and his company against illegal campaign contribution charges.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Defense attorneys for Canton businessman Ben Suarez say he never willfully violated campaign finance laws when he asked employees to contribute to Congressman Jim Renacci and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. They say it was all the fault of Suarez's CFO.

But prosecutors say a paper trail will show Suarez ordered his CFO to round up employees to act as “straw donors” and be re-reimbursed by the direct marketing company.

WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier has more on the opening statements made before a very large crowd in  federal courtroom in Cleveland.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:38)


The defense described Suarez as a self-made man whose company is a good corporate citizen and employer in Stark County.

His attorneys don’t deny he made donations to Renacci and Mandel and asked them for help fighting a deceptive advertising lawsuit in California. They also acknowledge Suarez directed his former CFO Michael Giorgio to ask employees to donate, and to offer advances on profit sharing if they couldn’t afford the $5,000 being asked for.

But the defense says only Giorgio used the term “reimbursement.” Giorgio recently pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors guaranteeing less prison time than he was facing. And they pointed to a clause in the plea deal saying he cannot be charged with new violations in the case.

The defense claims Giorgio accepted the deal after learning Suarez was building an embezzlment case against him. For that, the defense told jurors, his testimony is unreliable. Former law professor J. Dean Carro says that clause only protects Giorgio from further federal prosecution.

“That doesn’t prevent a civil action. So, for example, if the Suarez company wanted to bring a civil action against Mr. Giorgio it certainly could.”

Suarez’s defense team says Giorgio stole about $1 million from the company.

Prosecutors call Suarez a sophisticated political operator who knew the donation scheme was illegal, and says they’ll prove he tried to cover it up by altering documents, withholding evidence and tampering with witnesses.

 

 

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
While I think this is a very unfortunate, the fact is that police are trained to aim for the large mass of a human to stop them. If they aimed for the leg it w...

Wayne County teacher says he was fired for criticizing dairy
This is bull crap Smithville Schools have changed ever since the new school I'm so ashamed at the district I wish I could pick my house up and move it to anothe...

White Castle is closing its five Northeast Ohio restaurants
you should open a white castle in logan ohio.i'm pretty sure you disappointed,thank you...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University