(Cleveland) - A jury has convicted a northeast Ohio telemarketing millionaire of witness tampering in a case involving campaign contributions to two prominent Republican politicians.
Seventy-two-year-old Ben Suarez of North Canton was found guilty Monday in federal court in Cleveland on witness tampering charges. But he was acquitted on other counts.
Prosecutors had alleged Suarez used employees, relatives and others to donate $100,000 each to U.S. rep. Jim Renacci's 2012 Congressional campaign and State Treasurer Josh Mandel's (man-failed U.S. Senate bid.
Attorneys for Suarez argued in court that he reimbursed the contributors but didn't know it was illegal and shouldn't be found guilty.
Ben Suarez leaving Cleveland federal Court.
The judge earlier dismissed two obstruction charges against Suarez, citing insufficient evidence.
His company's former chief financial officer pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Suarez.
U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach says Suarez could get 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in October, but that will be entirely up to the judge.
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(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)