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Campaign fraud case against former Mepco CEO to be retried in April

A former coal company executive accused of funneling illegal campaign contributions to candidates will be retried April 13, after his first trial ended in a mistrial.

James Laurita, former president and CEO of Mepco LLC, was charged with advancing company money to his executives to contribute to political candidates he chose in amounts he specified.

The indictment, filed Sept. 19, notes that in the 2010 election cycle, the Election Act limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,400 each, a total of $4,800 from any individual to one candidate in the election cycle. The total limit was $5,000 in the 2012 election cycle and $5,200 in the 2014 cycle.

Laurita allegedly made and caused to be made campaign contributions of $25,000 and more in the names of other people in both 2012 and 2013. The indictment also said the company reimbursed executives for contributions when an advancement was exhausted.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley declared a mistrial on the case after a jury deadlocked in its deliberations.