Federal judge won't dismiss Ohio telemarketer's witness tampering conviction in campaign case

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CLEVELAND — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a northeast Ohio telemarketing millionaire's lone conviction on a charge of witness tampering.

Attorneys for 72-year-old Ben Suarez of North Canton had asked that Judge Patricia Gaughan dismiss the charge based on faulty jury instructions. Gaughan issued her ruling Wednesday.

A federal court jury in June acquitted Suarez of all other counts regarding allegations that he used employees, relatives and others to illegally donate $100,000 each to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci's (reh-NAY'-seez) 2012 congressional campaign and state Treasurer Josh Mandel's (man-DEHLZ') failed U.S. Senate bid. Prosecutors alleged Suarez wanted the Republican politicians' help with a civil complaint filed against Suarez's company in California.

Renacci and Mandel were not accused of wrongdoing.

Suarez is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 14 in Cleveland.

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