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Wisconsin: 3 indicted for campaign fraud

AP reports: Three more men have been charged in connection with a federal investigation into a phony billing scheme allegedly set up by a pair of construction executives to get money for themselves and their political and business contacts.

David C. Busch, 57, a former vice president of Roundy's Supermarkets Inc., has been accused of making illegal campaign contributions to prominent Republicans while working as a consultant for a construction company. He was criminally charged late Tuesday with aiding and abetting mail fraud.

Joseph P. Harvey, 42, chief financial officer of Bielinski Homes of Waukesha, and Walter E. Utter, 59, president of Mann Brothers Construction of Elkhorn, also were charged Tuesday with aiding and abetting mail fraud.

The U.S. attorney's office said the three were the latest implicated in a case in which Robert Mann, a former owner of Mann Brothers, and Robert G. Brownell, former chief executive officer of Bielinski, were charged with fraud earlier.

The criminal complaint against Busch says he was interviewed by the FBI and the U.S. attorney in February 2003. Busch allegedly said during that conversation that he was reimbursed by Roundy's for campaign contributions he made to city of Milwaukee officials during the mid-1990s.

State and federal campaign finance laws make it illegal for businesses or corporations to give directly to candidates, although employees can make personal contributions. -- St. Paul Pioneer Press | 06/17/2005 | 3 men charged in federal probe of campaign-donation scheme