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Ohio GOP fundraiser sentenced to 18 years on fraud conviction

[JURIST] Tom Noe [Wikipedia profile], a former Republican fundraiser and prominent coin dealer in Ohio, was sentenced on Monday to 18 years in prison after his conviction [summary, PDF] last week on theft, corrupt activity, money laundering, forgery and tampering with records charges in a rare coin investment scandal [Toledo Blade backgrounder]. Noe managed a $50 million state investment in rare coins promulgated by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation [official website], and prosecutors alleged that Noe use some of the investment money to pay off his own business loans and purchase a Florida residence. Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Osowik concluded that Noe spent the state money at an "alarmingly large rate" culminating in an "elaborate scheme of theft."

Noe was indicted [PDF; Columbus Dispatchreport ] in February along with his business partner, Timothy LaPointe. In addition to the coin investment scandal that came to light last year, Noe's actions led to ethics charges [JURIST report] against Republican Ohio Governor Bob Taft [official website], including criminal misdemeanors for failing to acknowledge nearly 70 golf outings and other favors. Taft pleaded no contest [JURIST report] and may face more disciplinary charges [JURIST report]. Noe already received a two-year prison sentence earlier this year after he pleaded guilty to fraudulently contributing $45,000 into President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. AP has more. The Toledo Blade has local coverage.

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