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April 18, 2014

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Mexican charged in San Diego campaign finance case

Updated Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 3:29 p.m.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Mexican businessman has been charged with illegally funneling money to support San Diego politicians in a widening campaign finance scandal.

Jose Susmo Azano pleaded not guilty Thursday in San Diego to being a foreign national who provided campaign contributions.

Prosecutors contend that the 48-year-old Azano and several other people donated to independent committees backing candidates for mayor and Congress in 2012 and 2013.

Charges filed last month don't describe a suspected motive but a federal prosecutor has said at least one defendant wanted to develop property in San Diego and turn its downtown waterfront into "Miami West."