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Previous U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took $50,000 from an affiliate of a billionaire who ran an unlawful scheme giving international contributions to U.S. strategies, federal prosecutors mentioned Wednesday. LaHood later on failed to disclose the check out on two govt ethics types as essential.
LaHood, the transportation secretary all through former President Barack Obama’s 1st phrase, took a $50,000 check out from Virginia businessman Toufic Baaklini in 2012. According to the Section of Justice, LaHood “comprehended” this dollars was actually coming from Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury.
LaHood did not disclose the financial loan because he didn’t want to be publicly involved with Chagoury. The DOJ mentioned in a statement that LaHood was dealing with fiscal difficulties when he approved the verify. The previous secretary then later tried to mislead federal brokers investigating Chagoury and failed to disclose the examine or who gave it to him.
Chagoury, with the help of Baaklini and other associates, ran a difficult and unlawful scheme funneling foreign revenue into U.S. elections. In accordance to prosecutors, Chagoury furnished $180,000 to persons in the U.S. who gave the income to four federal political candidates from 2012 by means of 2016. All those candidates usually are not named.
LaHood was not involved in that plan, prosecutors explained.
In a non-prosecution settlement signed in December 2019, LaHood agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation, repaid the $50,000, and paid out a $40,000 good.