Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer
ORLANDO, Florida - Former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering just before jury selection in his criminal trial got under way.
Jury selection was set to begin Monday, but neither Greer nor prosecutors appeared in the courtroom. The only sign of Greer's presence in the Orange County Courthouse were his wife and infant daughter.
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Shortly after 10 a.m., word came out that Greer had accepted a plea deal and would plead guilty to theft, fraud and money laundering charges.
Prosecutors say Greer funneled almost $200,000 of party money into a company he had formed with his right-hand man.
Greer had earlier said party leaders were aware of the company and that his prosecution is political payback. Sentencing is March 27, and he faces up to 35 years in prison.