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Man Who Accused Donovan Sentenced

January 4, 1985

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ A federal judge Friday sentenced a trucking executive to six months in prison for falsely telling the FBI that Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan laundered Teamsters union contributions to Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign.

Michael E. Klepfer, 45, who pleaded guilty in a plea bargain Nov. 16 to one count of making a false statement, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Howard G. Munson to begin serving his term Feb. 6.

Klepfer had been charged with four counts for telling FBI agents that Donovan helped launder $20 million in Teamsters union contributions to Reagan’s 1980 campaign.

Klepfer falsely alleged the money changed hands to secure preferential treatment for organized-crime figures facing prison terms.

Allegations by Klepfer and nearly 40 other people led to a six-month investigation of Donovan that ended when a special prosecutor in June 1982 said the government had been unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing by Donovan.

Donovan was here Friday, but it could not be immediately determined if he spoke with the judge, who delayed sentencing for 75 minutes before finally assembling lawyers in the courtroom. Munson referred to the mental anguish inflicted upon Donovan and his family by the false report.

As part of Klepfer’s plea bargain, the prosecution agreed to ask a federal judge in Scranton, Pa., to dismiss a nine-count conspiracy indictment against Klepfer. He and his father were charged with conspiring with the president of Spaulding Bakeries Inc. of West Hazelton, Pa., to bribe a union president to end a 1981 strike.

Ellis Klepfer, 71, who founded the Elkay Truck Leasing Co. of Kirkwood, N.Y., now run by Michael Klepfer, was convicted in that case and is serving a prison term.

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