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Mag Is Charged Over Campaign Donations

March 27, 1998|Stephen Gregory

Ontario-based Mag Instrument Inc., which makes Maglite flashlights, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of making illegal campaign contributions stemming from allegations that company officers, no longer with the company, used employees to funnel money to two 1992 congressional campaigns. Gary Licenberg, attorney for Mag Instrument, said the company, under a plea bargain with the U.S. attorney's office, plans to plead guilty to the charges when the case goes before a federal judge as early as Monday. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the counts carry a maximum fine of $200,000 each. Licenberg said the former company executives, whose identities were not revealed, asked employees to donate to the campaigns of then-Rep. Charles Wilson (D-Texas) and then-Rep. Wayne Owens (D-Utah), at that time a Senate hopeful. The charges allege Mag officers then reimbursed employees, which is illegal under federal law. Licenberg said the officers supported both candidates for their calls to send U.S. aid to victims of war in Croatia. "The company is going to settle and accept responsibility for the officers causing campaign contributions to be made in the name of another person," Licenberg said. Neither he nor the U.S. attorney's office revealed how many contributions were made or their total value.

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