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Edwards campaign repays taxpayers $2.1 million

RALEIGH (AP) — John Edwards’ campaign has repaid more than $2.1 million in public matching funds received after the Democrat dropped out of the 2008 presidential primary amid a sex scandal.

Federal Election Commission spokeswoman Judith Ingram confirmed last week that the agency had received the money. The bipartisan election commission ruled unanimously in 2011 that Edwards was improperly paid the taxpayer money after he suspended his campaign on Jan. 30, 2008.

Edwards appealed that ruling, which the FEC upheld March 12. The campaign was given 30 days to send a check to the U.S. Treasury.

Edwards received more than $12.8 million in public matching funds during the 2008 election cycle. Of that money, the campaign reported spending all but about $2.1 million by the end of last year. Reports showed the defunct campaign spent $836,712 in 2011 expenses, much of it on legal fees. There was also spending for airfare, hotel rooms, bottled water and other bills, according to the reports.

Edwards also faces criminal charges over campaign finance violations related to nearly $1 million paid by two wealthy donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House. Edwards has pleaded not guilty. His trial began last week.

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