(Cleveland) — Defense attorneys for a northeast Ohio businessman claim the expected star prosecution witness in the businessman's trial on federal campaign violations embezzled $1 million from the company over 17 years.

A court filing says Michael Giorgio stole the money from the company owned by Ben Suarez, the millionaire owner of North Canton's Suarez Corporation Industries. Suarez's trial on federal campaign law violations began Monday with jury selection.

Giorgio is the company's former chief financial officer and has pleaded guilty to some of the same charges. He has agreed to testify against his former boss.

Suarez's attorneys want to question Giorgio about the embezzlement allegations. Giorgio's attorney did not return calls. Suarez's attorneys have said their client is innocent.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland declined to comment about the filing.

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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press, all rights reserved.) 

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