Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Culture of Corruption: Audit Shows Ohio Is Owed $13.5M From GOP Donor Who Funneled State Money to His Own Business

COLUMBUS, Ohio Feb 22, 2006 (AP)— The state is owed $13.5 million that allegedly was spent illegally as part of Ohio's ill-fated investment in rare coins that shook up the state's Republican leadership, the state auditor said in a report released Wednesday.

The audit alleges that coin dealer and GOP donor Tom Noe funneled state money into his own businesses, beginning the day in 1998 that he received the first of two $25 million investments from the state insurance fund for injured workers.

The report by Auditor Betty Montgomery was part of investigators' support for a 53-count indictment last week against Noe accusing him of embezzling at least $1 million from the investment.

Noe, 51, pleaded not guilty and was released on $500,000 bail.

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