NC Businessman Enters Plea To Illegal Campaign Donations

A North Carolina businessman has been fined $5,000 and received two years of unsupervised probation for accepting responsibility for funneling illegal donations to the campaigns of Democrat Gov. Beverly Perdue and two Democrat state senators.

Atlantic Corp. packaging company owner Rusty Carter entered an Alford plea on Tuesday to three misdemeanor campaign donation laws in a Wilmington courtroom. An Alford plea allows a defendant to acknowledge the state's evidence could result in a conviction without a defendant having to admit any guilt.

A local prosecutor said more than a dozen employees from Carter's company contributed more than $175,000 to three campaigns since 2003. Carter's lawyers said the employees were given a bonus knowing that some of it would be contributed to political campaigns.

The contributions went to Governor Beverly Perdue, Senate leader Marc Basnight and Senator Julia Boseman.

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