10:00 PM PDT on Friday, September 10, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enteprise

Six relatives of some defendants in a San Jacinto political corruption indictment were ordered to stand trial Friday in a perjury and campaign money-laundering case.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly made the ruling at the end of a preliminary hearing that began Aug. 27. Final arguments were Friday.

The campaign money-laundering complaint charges each defendant with conspiracy, perjury, making campaign contributions under a false name and making an unlawful contribution on another’s behalf. All have pleaded not guilty.
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If convicted on all counts, they could face a maximum of four years, eight months in state prison. Their next court appearance is Oct. 28.

Prosecutors said the defendants made illegal contributions to San Jacinto City Councilman Jim Ayres’ failed 2006 state Assembly campaign fund.

The contributions were made in November 2007, about 18 months after the political contest was over.

District attorney investigators said bank statements obtained through search warrants showed the defendants made contributions and were illegally reimbursed.

Prosecutors said the six lied about the reimbursements when they appeared before a grand jury in 2009.

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