SBI investigating sweepstakes donations to NC politicians

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina investigators are probing allegations that sweepstakes gaming industry businessmen funneled money to politicians to get them to legalize their business.

State Bureau of Investigation spokesman Shannon O’Toole said Tuesday the state’s top detective agency launched its probe at Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman’s request.

Freeman’s office in the state capital commonly prosecutes criminal cases involving state government or officials. She asked the SBI to start probing the industry last month, a step that was first reported by The News & Observer of Raleigh.

Freeman asked the SBI for a deeper look after the State of Board of Elections said in July it could find no state campaign finance law violations involving more than $270,000 in questionable donations. Elections officials said they lacked power to interview unwilling players.

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