Ray LaHood, an Obama-era transportation secretary who served in the role from 2009 to 2013, shelled out $40,000 for a fine to resolve a federal criminal investigation into his conduct pertaining to a $50,000 transaction with Toufic Joseph Baaklini, according to the Department of Justice.
“LaHood, who at the time was suffering financial difficulties, admitted that in 2012 he accepted a $50,000 personal check from Baaklini – with the word ‘Loan’ written in the check’s memo portion – and understood at the time that the money came from [Gilbert] Chagoury,” according to a DOJ press release.
LaHood did not divulge the $50,000 check on two government ethics forms because he did not wish to be connected with Chagoury, the DOJ noted.
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