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.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Metro RTA


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

An amendment to an Ohio agriculture bill may kill whole bill
I hope the Gov. sticks to his veto, Att takes more out of this state than it puts in.

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

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