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Ex-official testifies at Ohio businessman's trial

CLEVELAND (AP) — The former chief financial officer for a northeast Ohio telemarketing company says he knew it was illegal when the company reimbursed employees and others who had been asked to make campaign contributions to two prominent Republican politicians.

Michael Giorgio (JOR'-jee-oh) testified Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland about helping millionaire businessman Ben Suarez collect donations for the 2012 campaign of U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (reh-NAY'-see) and the failed U.S. Senate bid of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (man-DEHL').

Giorgio says all of the contributors were quickly reimbursed by the company with checks that appeared to be normal compensation.

Giorgio was originally indicted along with Suarez. Giorgio pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other charges last month and agreed to testify against Suarez in return for a reduced prison sentence.

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