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Major GOP Donor Indicted in Ohio

October 27, 2005

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ A coin dealer and major GOP donor at the center of a scandal in Ohio state government has been indicted in a federal investigation into contributions to President Bush’s re-election campaign, his attorney said Thursday.

The grand jury was examining whether Tom Noe skirted campaign finance laws by having others donate money for him. Federal laws limit individual contributions to $2,000.

Noe’s lawyer, Jon Richardson, said he did not have any immediate details on the indictment. The charges were to be announced later in the day by the FBI and the Justice Department, and federal prosecutors would not comment before then.

Noe is also under investigation over an ill-fated $50 million investment in rare coins he managed for the state workers’ compensation fund. Noe has acknowledged that up to $13 million is missing, and Ohio’s attorney general has accused him of stealing as much as $6 million.

The coin dealer contributed more than $105,000 to Republicans, including Bush and Gov. Bob Taft, during the last campaign.

An investigation into Noe’s coin investments led to the governor’s conviction in August on charges he failed to report golf outings and other gifts.

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