Morgantown Businessman Accused Of Campaign Fraud

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Federal prosecutors have charged a Morgantown businessman with campaign finance fraud, alleging he used employees and their spouses to front donations to federal candidates that exceeded donation limits.

According to authorities, 57-year-old James Laurita Jr., former chief executive of mining company Mepco LLC, faces six federal charges from 2010 to 2013.

The indictment handed up Tuesday cites improper campaign contributions to four candidates but doesn’t name them.

It says Laurita aggregated contributions using “straw” donors and Mepco money to give individual candidates more than $25,000, or about five times more than the federal campaign limit for an individual.

Laurita’s attorney, John Carr, declined immediate comment.