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Obama Transportation Secretary Indicated: Took $50k In Undisclosed Foreign Money: DOJ

Federal prosecutors have unsealed in an indictment that a former Obama administration official took $50,000 from an associate of a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, who the Justice Department had been investigating as part of an illegal campaign cash scheme.

Ray LaHood, who served as the transportation secretary from 2009 to 2013 under Obama, took a check for $50,000 in 2012 with the word “Loan” written on it while he was “suffering financial difficulties,” the DOJ announced.

The check came from Toufic Joseph Baaklini, an associate of Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, who, despite being “prohibited by federal law from contributing to any U.S. elections,” made payments to government officials through those in his orbit.

LaHood “understood” the check came from Chagoury, and he failed to disclose the money on two separate government ethics forms, the DOJ wrote.


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