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Jury deliberating in Noe case

NN1121noe.jpgA Lucas County jury in Toledo, Ohio, was still deliberating the fate of former coin dealer Tom Noe as of Nov. 9.

They are considering whether Noe is guilty of 40 felony counts relating to allegations that he stole millions of dollars from the coin fund he was overseeing for Ohio Bureau of Workers? Compensation investments.

If found guilty, Noe faces more than 10 years in prison. Regardless of the outcome, Noe will still be going to prison immediately after the verdict, as he will begin serving his 27-month federal sentence for violating campaign finance laws after he was found guilty in September of illegally funneling more than $45,000 into President Bush?s re-election campaign.

Noe?s troubles were seen as a major factor in Ohio electing a Democratic governor for the first time in 20 years. Current Governor Bob Taft was convicted of not reporting gifts he received from Noe.

During closing arguments, prosecutors told the jury that Noe immediately began stealing money from the millions he got from the OBWC to invest in rare coins in 1998 and used it to pay off personal debts, give loans to friends and make improvements to his personal properties.

They said Noe hid the true financial state of the fund by issuing phony inventories and balance sheets designed to deceive auditors.

The defense rested its case without calling any witnesses to the stand. They told jurors that the evidence presented did not support the charges.

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