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FBI Reopens Charges Against Ex-Lawmaker for Accepting Donations from Tinubu’s Ally Chagoury

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FBI Reopens Charges Against U.S. Lawmaker for Lying on Accepting Illegal Campaign Donations From Tinubu's Ally Gilbert Chagoury

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has reopened public corruption charges against former U.S. lawmaker Jeffery Fortenberry on “falsifying and concealing” illegal campaign donations received from Nigerian-Lebanese businessman Gilbert Chagoury, who is also a close associate of Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, reportedly.

Fortenberry’s action violated the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC), which prohibits federal office seekers from accepting donations from foreigners like Chagoury and mandates them to disclose the names and addresses of donors who give more than $50.

With this, the FBI said Mr Fortenberry “clearly” violated the law, including not filing an amended report for clarification purposes as mandated in the federal election filings and feigning ignorance on illegal donations when asked during an interview with the federal agents in 2019.

The illegal contribution in question was a $30,000 given by Mr Chagoury to an FBI informant who was previously convicted and pardoned in Switzerland over money laundering charges and then distributed it to different names, who donated it to Mr Fortenberry’s campaign in 2016.

Despite being charged in March 2022 in California, Mr Fortenberry hired a lawyer to deal with the charges on his behalf.

Meanwhile, the FBI is not charging Mr Fortenberry for collecting the money, which happened in 2016, but for lying about having collected it when the federal agents interviewed him in 2019.

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