Jim Greer, the big-spending former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was arrested June 2 and charged with six felony counts in connection with a secret consulting contract he struck with the party, state police said.
Greer, 47, and former party executive director Delmar Johnson used a ''shell company'' called Victory Strategies to raise money from the party for ''personal enrichment,'' said Bill Shepherd, Florida's statewide prosecutor. Johnson was a cooperating witness and struck a plea deal.
Greer was charged with money laundering, committing a scheme to defraud and four theft charges. The theft charges carry a maximum five-year prison sentence. The others call for a maximum 30-year prison term.
Greer's arrest was the first made by a statewide grand jury examining public corruption, which was called for by Gov. Charlie Crist, who personally picked Greer to lead the Republican Party of Florida.
Greer, pressured to resign from the party in February, has been under FDLE investigation since spring after new party leaders discovered the Victory Strategies contract.
Federal prosecutors are also examining party activities under the watch of Greer and Crist, who recently left the Republican Party amid a bitter U.S. Senate primary that he was expected to lose.
-- By Marc Caputo and John Frank, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau