Major Obama Donors Tied to Mexican Drug Fugitive

Monday, 06 Feb 2012 09:43 PM

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Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who is wanted in the U.S. on drug and fraud charges have been making large contributions to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, The New York Times reports.

The casino owner, Juan Jose Rojas Cardona, whose nickname is "Pepe," fled bail in Iowa in 1994 and remains wanted on drug and fraud charges. He has been linked to violence and corruption in Mexico, the Times reports.

The State Department in 2009 said he may have been involved in the assassination of a business rivals and making illegal campaign donations to Mexican officials.

Meanwhile, his brothers and other family members since last year have been making significant donations to the Obama campaign,  totaling more than $200,000.  When The New York Times asked the Obama campaign about the Cardonas, officials said they were unaware of the brother in Mexico, and late in the day told the Times they were returning all money.

The campaign was also looking at other 'bundled" donations from others with ties to the brothers, which total less than $100,000.

The Cardonas brothers, Carlos and Alberto Rojas Cardona, have tried to seek a pardon for Pepe Cardona in Iowa, but have failed.

"The Cardona brothers, who have no prior history of political giving, appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the world of Democratic fund-raising," the Times reported.


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