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Two face jury-tampering charges in Phar-Mor case

Two people have been indicted in connection with alleged jury tampering in the first federal trial of former Phar-Mor Inc. president Michael Monus, a prosecutor said Monday.

Raymond Isaac, 25, and Cheryl McRae, 40, both of Youngstown, Ohio, were charged in a five-count indictment, said Emily Sweeney, U.S. attorney for the northern district of Ohio, in a news release.

Monus' first trial ended in a hung jury, but his second trial ended May 25 with his conviction on 109 federal felonies.

He was convicted of masterminding a $1.1-billion fraud and embezzlement scheme that forced the discount drugstore chain he co-founded to seek bankruptcy court protection. The chain is closing a third of its stores, including five of the six in the Tampa Bay area.

Monus, 47, faces a maximum of 1,246 years in prison and $36-million in fines.

It was not clear whether the jury-tampering indictments would affect his conviction.

Isaac, a former quarterback with Youngstown State University and a member of the Memphis Pharaohs of the Arena Football League, was charged with jury tampering and making a false statement to the FBI.

McRae, a juror in Monus' first trial on fraud and embezzlement charges, was charged with obstruction of justice, criminal contempt of court and making a false statement to federal agents.

The maximum penalty for conviction on jury tampering and obstruction of justice is 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count. The maximum penalty for false statements is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. There is no maximum penalty for contempt of court.

Isaac was being held at a federal center in Memphis awaiting an extradition hearing. He posted $10,000 bail, and a hearing was set for Wednesday, FBI agent Robert Hawk said.

McRae would be given a chance to voluntarily appear in court, said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Wooley, who declined to discuss specifics of the case. There was no answer to calls to her home.

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