ST. LOUIS, 4/12/12 (Beat Byte) -- Federal officials have indicted former Missouri Gov. Roger Wilson for allegedly laundering campaign contributions to the Democratic party, the U.S. Attorney's office said Thursday morning.
Wilson is the namesake for the Boone County government building and has had a storied history in local politics.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Wilson and the Herzog Crebs law firm in St. Louis are charged with funneling $8,000 to the Missouri Democratic State Committee through Columbia-based Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co.
Former MEM board member Doug Morgan made the contributions, the indictment claims, with the knowledge and approval of Wilson.
The laundering occurred when MEM repaid the contribution to the law firm as a bill for legal fees.
Other MEM board members did not know about or approve the contributions, the indictment says.
Though the charge carries a penalty of up to a year in prison, probation and a fine will probably be the punishments, the Post-Dispatch reports.
Wilson was terminated as MEM CEO last June and has declined to talk about the reason for his departure. "That silence contrasted with his two decades in public office, when he was known as a straight-shooter who was always quick with a quip," the Post-Dispatch reports.
The Columbia-based insurer has faced numerous setbacks, including indictments of two former board members last year for alleged theft and fraud. This year, "State Auditor Tom Schweich portrayed a company that operates like a private entity, handing out hefty bonuses to employees, while enjoying federal tax-exempt status and other advantages that its private competitors lack," the Post-Dispatch reports.
Wilson, meanwhile, has been an assistant elementary school principal in Columbia; Boone County collector; Missouri State Senator; lieutenant Governor; and for a short time, Governor, after Gov. Mel Carnahan was killed in a plane crash.