N.J. politics: Sex, lies and videotapes

July 14, 2004 at 1:59 PM
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TRENTON, N.J., July 14 (UPI) -- A top Democratic fund-raiser is accused of hiring a New York hooker to seduce a fraud case witness and then giving a videotape of the tryst to the man's wife.

Real-estate mogul Charles Kushner, the New Jersey governor's most generous fund-raiser, was being pursued by federal prosecutors for allegations of tax fraud and illegal campaign contributions, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Yet, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, he personally offered a woman as much as $10,000 to have sex with the witness in the case.

Christie also accused Kushner of unsuccessfully attempting the same tactic with a second witness.

Kushner pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and promoting interstate prostitution. A conviction on all charges would result in a maximum 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

The newspaper said since his first gubernatorial campaign in 1997, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has received at least $369,050 from Kushner, Kushner's family members and employees of Kushner's Florham Park-based firm, which is valued at $1 billion.

In addition, the Post said Kushner has bundled more than $1 million in contributions to McGreevey.

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