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One of Ohio's most politically watched trials is wrapping up
None of the headline politicians who were subpoenaed actually had to testify in the of Ben Suarez and $200,000 in political donations
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
A judge acquitted Ben Suarez on two charges and the jury will be considering eight others after closing tomorrow.
Courtesy of University of Akron
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Closing arguments are set for tomorrow in the criminal case against North Canton businessman Ben Suarez. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that the defense rested without calling the long line of state political headliners it had subpoenaed.

LISTEN: Suarez trial is wrapping up

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The flurry of subponeas issued by the defense included many of the state’s top Republican names: Congressman Jim Renacci, Treasurer Josh Mandel, Gov. John Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Most of them were fighting the subpoenas, but federal Judge Patricia Gaughan hadn’t yet ruled on their motions when Suarez defense team rested. So did prosecutors.

That came a few hours after Gaughan dropped two of the 10 charges against Suarez, who’s accused of steering $200,000 in donations to Mandel and Renacci through employees and other straw donors. Gaughan said there was no proof Suarez knew of a document prosecutors contended was part of his obstruction of justice.

Along with the 72-year-old Suarez, federal prosecutors leveled criminal charges against Suarez’ company, Suarez Corporation Industries of North Canton. Suarez had been trying to get Ohio’s Republican politicians help to fight a multi-million consumer complaint against his company in California.  He ended up settling for $1.8 million.

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