December 24, 2011 / 12:44 AM / 8 years ago

Obama campaign returns cash from MF Global's Corzine

CHICAGO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama’s campaign has returned some $70,000 in contributions made by embattled MF Global chief Jon Corzine and his wife, a campaign official said on Friday.

Corzine, a former Democratic senator, governor of New Jersey and one-time leader of Goldman Sachs, was one of the top so-called “bundlers” and surrogates for the campaign, leveraging his elite network to lump together donations to benefit the Democratic incumbent’s re-election bid.

As of early last month, the former Goldman Sachs chief had raised donations of at least $500,000 for Obama’s 2012 effort.

The campaign said in early November it would return the donations made by Corzine if he were charged with any wrongdoing. The campaign severed ties after Corzine’s securities firm imploded and he agreed to testify before a congressional committee about $1.2 billion in missing investor funds.

Corzine and his wife each contributed $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee and $5,000 to Obama’s campaign, the maximum amounts that individuals are allowed to give, according to campaign finance records.

Corzine held a $35,800-a-head fund-raising dinner for Obama at his home in April.

The Obama campaign and the DNC have together raised more than $150 million, far outstripping the Republicans vying for the nomination to run against Obama as he seeks re-election next year.

Together, 357 top fundraisers are directing at least $55,900,000 toward Obama’s re-election effort, money that has gone into the coffers of his campaign as well as the DNC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

(Editing by Xavier Briand)

Reporting by Eric Johnson

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