Noe indicted: GOP backer is accused of laundering cash Federal grand jury cites Bush donations using 24 ‘conduits’
By MIKE WILKINSON
and JAMES DREW
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Tom Noe, whose failed rare-coin deal with the state has triggered multiple investigations and rocked Ohio’s Republican leadership, was charged yesterday with illegally funneling $45,400 to President Bush’s re-election campaign.
Gregory A. White, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced a three-count indictment against Mr. Noe, saying he used two dozen people as “conduits” to make illegal campaign contributions at a $2,000-a-seat fund-raiser in Columbus.
In doing so, Mr. Noe skirted federal campaign finance funding limits while meeting a pledge to raise $50,000 for the Oct. 30, 2003, fund-raiser. The Bush campaign later named Mr. Noe a “Pioneer” for raising at least $100,000 overall.
The Noe case is the largest campaign money-laundering scheme prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department since new campaign finance laws were enacted by Congress in 2002, said Noel Hillman, chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity section