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Prosecutors: Fundraiser sought Bush perks

Published: Mon, September 11, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.

Noe is to be sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
TOLEDO (AP) -- A Republican fundraiser wanted to spare his family the ordeal of a trial when he admitted to orchestrating an illegal scheme that funneled money to President Bush's re-election campaign.
What he didn't explain is why he did it.
Court papers indicate that Tom Noe, a rare-coin dealer, wanted the perks that can come along with joining an elite group of business leaders and lobbyists who raised at least $100,000 for Bush, earning them the status of "Pioneers."
Noe wanted "in part to obtain presidential invitations to the White House and the President's ranch in Texas," prosecutors said in a court filing asking that Noe be given a longer sentence than they originally sought.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court for convictions on three charges, including exceeding federal campaign contribution limits.
Prosecutors first suggested a prison sentence of at least two years, but last week they said Noe should get a longer sentence because he schemed to corrupt the election process.
They did not specify how much additional time that Noe should serve. The maximum he could face is five years.
Noe's lawyer said his client should be sentenced to community service instead of prison time because he already has been shamed. "No public humiliation has been so complete as Mr. Noe's," said attorney Jon Richardson.

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