Republican Corruption in Ohio: GUILTY VERDICT!
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation gave Noe $25 million in 1998 to invest in rare coins, followed by another $25 million in 2001. At the same time, he began his rise to prominence in state politics.
Prosecutors accused Noe, 52, of spending money from the coin fund on his business, his home in the Florida Keys and other luxury items. They did not say whether he used the money to make campaign contributions to Republicans, including President Bush.
And here are the consequences slapping Noe in the face:
Noe, a politically connected coin dealer, was accused of stealing at least $2 million from the unorthodox $50 million investment. Noe also was found guilty of corrupt activity, money laundering, forgery and tampering with evidence. He was acquitted of some money laundering and tampering counts that were among the 40 he faced.
The corrupt activity charge, the most serious one, carries a mandatory 10-year sentence because he was convicted on some of the other charges.
The trial put a spotlight on the embarrassing scandal for Republicans in the weeks leading up to the election last week. Voters fed up with government corruption scandals broke the GOP's 12-year lock on state government, electing Democrats to the governor's office, a U.S. Senate seat and three of four other key statewide offices.
Among those tied to Noe are Republican Gov. of Ohio, Taft, who has been charged with four criminal misdemeanors for failure to disclose golf outings paid for by lobbyists, as well as some undisclosed gifts including some from Noe. Taft and other state Republicans also tried to cover up for Noe once certain "losses" of coins leaked out. Also implicated in Noe's "coingate" scandal are Republican lobbyist Brian Hicks, and his assistant, Cherie Carroll, who were convicted of ethics violations in connection with the Coingate scandal.