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Top 'Let's Get to Work' donor lays off nearly 500 employees

One of the biggest supporters of Gov. Rick Scott's "Let's Get to Work" political committee has put nearly 500 people out of work.

Treasure Island businessman Bill Edwards donated $500,000 to Scott's campaign in March. He abruptly laid off 476 employees from a mortgage business on Monday, according to a Tampa Bay Times report, the same day the Times & Herald highlighted his donation to Scott.

A bare-bones staff of 40 people will remain at the St. Petersburg-based Mortgage Investors Corp. to help wind down operations at the company, which had a presence in 26 states.

The mortgage company, which refinances home loans for veterans, is among the Treasure Island entrepreneur's many business interests. He said new federal regulations under the Frank-Dodd Act caused the company to shrink because it does not have the technology to comply.

Edwards' donated to Scott's campaign via a lump sum check written by his trust fund. Of the 476 who were laid off nationwide, 256 worked in the company's Florida headquarters.

In June, the company paid a record $7.5 million fine for violating the federal Do No Call rule. In July, Edwards laid off 325 people by blaming it on reduced demand because of rising interest rates.

Earlier this year, Edwards tried to resell Mortgage investors Corp. but the deal fell through. Read more about the company's shuttering here.