U.S. President Barack Obama's election campaign will return funding to the tune of $200,000 linked to the family of a fugitive Mexican casino magnate, says a media report.
The Chicago-based brothers of Juan Jose Rojas Cardona, known as Pepe, had raised some $200,000 for Mr. Obama, who is seeking re-election in the November 6 presidential polls, the New York Times reported.
Pepe Cardona jumped bail in Iowa in 1994 and is now seeking a pardon for drug and fraud charges he faces in the United States, it said.
“On the basis of the questions that have been raised, we will return the contributions from these individuals and from any other donors they brought to the campaign,” the paper quoted Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign as saying.
Obama campaign officials said most of the money raised by the Cardona brothers came from themselves and other relatives.
Last fall, Carlos Cardona and another brother in Chicago, Alberto Rojas Cardona, began raising money for the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The money Alberto Cardona raised put him in the upper tiers of fund-raisers, known as bundlers.
According to a leaked U.S State Department cable from 2009, Pepe Cardona — now based in Mexico's Monterrey region — was suspected of orchestrating the murder of a business rival.
After the rival's death, Pepe Cardona became the largest operator of casinos — often used to launder illicit profits — in the area.