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Former Fla. GOP chairman pleads guilty

Feb. 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Former Florida Republican chairman Jim Greer pleaded guilty to four charges of grand theft in diverting party funds to a fundraising firm.

Although he faces a maximum imprisonment of 42.6 months at his March 27 sentencing, the last-minute guilty plea Monday avoided a trial that could have exposed inner party workings and potentially embarrassed former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and much of the state's Republican elite, the Tampa Bay, Fla., Times reported.

The case centered on Greer's fundraising company, Victory Strategies, and a diversion of $200,000 in party funds to the company. Greer contended Republican leaders, including Crist, approved of the arrangement, the newspaper said.

Crist, who likely would have been called to testify with other state notables, has said he was unaware of the fundraising arrangement.

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