The Legal System Still Works: Bu$h Fundraiser Gets 18 Years in Prison
Will future Pioneers learn from Tom Noe's mistake?
Tom Noe, the GOP fund-raiser at the heart of Ohio's biggest political scandal in a generation, was sentenced today to 27 months in a federal prison for illegally funneling money into President Bush's re-election campaign.
U.S. District Court Judge David Katz also ordered Noe to pay $136,200 in fines for sending more than $45,000 into a 2003 Bush fund-raiser by using two dozen friends and associates -- including several current and former local Republican elected officials -- in violation of federal election laws.
Noe, 52, remains free on bond until the conclusion of his trial next month on 46 felony counts in state court related to allegations that he stole millions from a $50 million rare-coin fund that he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
Noe, a former Maumee rare-coin dealer whose large donations made him a powerful political figure, apologized in court for the scheme to give friends money to donate to Bush to fulfill his promise to generate $50,000 for a presidential fund-raiser.
Noe said he arranged the scheme because "in 2003 I was pressured by Bush-Cheney officials to become a Pioneer," a name the campaign gives to people who raise $100,000.