Friday, October 28, 2005

GOP Donor Charged in Ohio

TOLEDO -- A coin dealer and major GOP donor at the center of a scandal in Ohio state government was charged Thursday with illegally funneling $45,400 in contributions to President Bush's reelection bid.

Tom Noe was accused in a federal indictment of giving money to 24 friends and associates, who then made the campaign contributions in their own names. In that way, he skirted the $2,000 limit on individual contributions, prosecutors said.

Calls to the White House and Noe's attorneys were not immediately returned.

Noe also is 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 but has filed no charges.

The coin dealer contributed more than $105,000 to Republicans, including Bush and Gov. Bob Taft, in the last campaign. The Republican National Committee announced in June that Bush was returning $4,000.

Iraqi-Born Doctor Sentenced

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- An Iraqi-born physician once tagged as a terrorism suspect and later convicted of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors had continued to argue that Rafil Dhafir had terrorist ties that made make him a national security threat and urged a sentence of at least 24 years. Defense attorney Devereaux Cannick had sought leniency for his client, saying he had done good works for patients and for Iraqis who suffered because of Saddam Hussein and the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Dhafir, a Rome, N.Y.-based oncologist, was convicted in February on 59 counts, including misusing $2 million donated to his unlicensed charity, Help the Needy, and spending $544,000 on personal expenses.

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DETROIT -- In both the city where she died and the city where she sparked the civil rights movement, the front of the bus is reserved for Rosa Parks. Detroit and Montgomery, Ala., are reserving the first seats of their buses as a tribute to Parks's legacy until her funeral next week.

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