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Columbus man accused of stealing $1 million in funds while working as campaign treasurer

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A Columbus man who served as a campaign treasurer for more than 100 candidates is accused of wire fraud related to the theft of about $1 million in campaign funds.

Court documents state 76-year-old William Curlis defrauded multiple candidates between 2008 and 2023.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio said in a news release Curlis allegedly wrote checks to himself for personal use from the bank accounts of certain candidates and one PAC.

He allegedly transferred funds between campaign accounts without candidates' knowledge.

In 2016, Curlis allegedly sold his home to cover the cost of campaign expenses and to avoid discovery of his theft.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.