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Former GOP chairman Greer under criminal investigation

UPDATED: Former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer is the subject of a criminal investigation after an auditor found he funneled party money to a political consulting company he owned.

Attorney General Bill McCollum referred the matter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Mar. 15 after it was discovered during a routine party audit (download here). "This information indicates there may have been criminal activity surrounding a former senior official of the Republican Party of Florida and a company called Victory Strategies, LLC," McCollum said in a statement.

The audit showed that Greer owned 60 percent of the company and Delmar Johnson, the ousted former executive director, owned the remaining 40 percent. Greer authorized the contract to let Johnson take a 10 percent commission on all dollars he raised for the party coffers. The disclosure of the contract earlier this year helped lead to his dethronement. Now party documents indicate his company received $133,005 in 2009 from the fundraising commissions and another $66,250 for other consulting services.

Party Chairman John Thrasher, a state senator, released a statement suggesting this disclosure if part of his effort to clean up party finances. "The Republican Party of Florida may have been the victim of illegal criminal activity on the part of one of its vendors, controlled by a senior-level official," he said in a statement.