CLEVELAND (AP) - A jury has been seated in the trial of a millionaire Ohio businessman accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions to two Republican candidates.
Benjamin Suarez is accused of steering about $100,000 each to the 2012 re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. James Renacci (reh-NAY'-see) and to the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DEHL').
Both campaigns returned the contributions after learning of allegations that the 72-year-old Suarez and Michael Giorgio conspired to bundle contributions in the names of employees and their spouses.
Giorgio, the chief financial officer for Suarez Corporation Industries in North Canton, pleaded guilty to similar charges May 19 and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
The jury was selected Monday in federal court in Cleveland with opening arguments scheduled for Wednesday morning.
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