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GOP fundraiser to plead guilty

A prominent Broward County ophthalmologist who raised millions for Republicans and once advised Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to plead guilty Thursday to scheming to bilk the U.S. government -- including failing to report $82,000 in political donations secretly given to a former state senator.

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, 52, is scheduled to plead in Fort Lauderdale federal court to a single conspiracy charge, which also accuses him of lying to federal agents. He is eligible to receive about two years in prison under sentencing guidelines, but his lawyers plan to seek significantly less punishment from U.S. District Judge William Zloch.

Although the ex-senator is not identified in Mendelsohn's plea agreement, sources familiar with the case said the former politician is Mandy Dawson, a Broward Democrat. She has not been charged in the Justice Department's four-year corruption investigation into Mendelsohn and state officials.