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Former Maine developer receives pardon from Trump

January 20, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A former Maine developer who violated federal campaign law by exceeding donation limits was pardoned Wednesday by President Donald Trump.

Michael Liberty is currently facing charges of duping investors in a company he founded, but the pardon doesn’t apply to that case.

The pardon applies to a case in which Liberty contributed $22,500 — far above the $2,500 limit — to Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential primary campaign in 2012. Liberty attempted to conceal the size of the donation by dividing it in the names of associates, employees and family members, prosecutors said.

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After Liberty pleaded guilty, a federal judge in 2017 sentenced him to four months in prison and ordered him to pay a $100,000 fine.

Trump cited “numerous philanthropic efforts” in pardoning Liberty, who’s formerly of Gray, Maine, and now lives in Florida. He was one of more than 140 people to benefit from Trump’s clemency actions.

Criminal charges are pending from a case in which Liberty and a business partner were indicted in 2019 on charges stemming from an alleged scam to trick investors into putting millions into a technology startup while diverting money for their own use. They have pleaded not guilty.

Liberty is remembered in Portland for big real estate developments, including twin office towers at 100 Middle Street and Chandler’s Wharf waterfront condominiums.