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Ohio Congressman faces second 10-count indictment

Traficant now has been indicted on 20 charges since last May.  

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) -- A federal grand jury Friday issued a new 10-count indictment against Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, charging the nine-term congressman with bribery, obstruction of justice, racketeering and tax evasion.

Prosecutors allege Traficant, 60, already under similar federal indictments, accepted gifts and favors from several businessmen in his district, including a convicted felon. In return, say federal officials, Traficant used his influence on their behalf with federal and state agencies. He is also accused of using employees from his office to perform work on his farm and boat, as well as requiring them to return a portion of their salaries to him each month.

The lawmaker from Youngstown, Ohio, known for his colorful speeches on the House floor and periodic support of Republican causes, has repeatedly accused federal authorities of having a personal vendetta.

Authorities indicted Traficant in May, which prompted him to say he's had "a bull's-eye on my back" since 1983, when he beat a federal bribery trial.


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That acquittal, coupled with his flamboyant character -- he ran for president in 1988, gathering 2 percent of the vote in Ohio's primary -- has made Traficant something of a folk figure in his home district.

Traficant said he plans to represent himself in court, just as he did in 1983.



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