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.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Meaden & Moore

Lehmans


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

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Vapor shops say tobacco tax hikes could hit them hard
Maybe you should be DOING a study, since every time you've tried to villianize them all that's happened was the opposite. I'm not a fan of alcohol that's flavor...

New law gives access to birth records to Ohio adoptees
Can siblings also look for their missing brother or sister? And how do we go about it?

Ida McKinley's tiara comes home, with the help of "Pawn Stars"
I donated to the fund to keep the tiara at the museum where I believe it belongs. I took my 16 year old granddaughter to the showing I dont think it will be som...

Copyright © 2015 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