The Obama campaign said it was returning money raised by the family of a Mexican casino owner who fled the United States to avoid drug and fraud charges.
Two American brothers of casino entrepreneur Juan Jose "Pepe" Rojas Cardona have emerged as major fundraisers and donors to Obama's re-election campaign, which said it was unaware of the casino owner's fugitive status, The New York Times reported Monday.
The campaign said it would return the more than $200,000 raised by the family.
Juan Cardona jumped bail in Iowa in 1994 and has since been linked to violence and corruption in Mexico, the Times said.
In January 2011, one brother, Carlos Rojas Cardona, worked to have the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party seek a pardon from the governor for Juan Cardona, state prosecutors said, but nothing happened.
Obama campaign officials said most of the money raised by Carlos and Alberto Rojas Cardona was from themselves and other relatives. Campaign officials said they also were looking for other donations, thought to be less than $100,000, bundled by the brothers from other people, the Times said.
"On the basis of the questions that have been raised, we will return the contributions from these individuals and from any other donors they brought to the campaign," said Ben LaBolt, a campaign spokesman.
The Times said messages left for Alberto and Carlos Cardona were not returned.
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