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Report: FBI investigating alleged ‘straw donor’ scheme tied to Florida Democratic Senate candidate

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) speaks during his debate with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at Broward College on Oct. 26 in Davie, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The FBI is investigating allegations that a "wealthy Saudi family" perpetrated an illegal donation scheme in support of Florida Democratic Rep. and 2016 Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, who is seeking to unseat Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, The Hill reported Monday.

According to the report, a conservative super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, alleged that Murphy’s high school friend, Ibrahim Al-Rashid, coordinated a “straw donor” scheme to help Murphy’s 2012 run for the House. These schemes are an effort to avoid legal limits to political campaign contributions by using other people’s names.

The Hill noted that there is “no evidence that Murphy himself was involved in, or even aware of, the alleged scheme.”

The PAC alleged that 11 donors in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida funneled $24,050 to Murphy’s campaign.

The Hill reported:

One example within the alleged scheme: A woman who describes herself in federal donation reports as the “owner” and “property manager” of a Texas-based company, Limestone Property Management, gave Murphy’s campaign $300.

But she is neither the property manager nor the owner of the Texas-based company. In fact, she doesn’t work there.

She lived in Miami at the time and was Ibrahim Al-Rashid’s “cleaning lady,” according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report filed in 2012 over a home burglary at Al-Rashid’s property.

Al-Rashid didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from The Hill.

A spokesperson for the Murphy campaign campaign said neither Murphy nor any of his campaign staff are under investigation.

“This complaint was written by a Republican super PAC willing to say anything to elect Marco Rubio,” Murphy campaign spokesman Joshua Karp told The Hill. “Neither Patrick nor any current or past employees have ever been contacted regarding this matter, and we are confident an examination of the facts will result in its dismissal.”

Murphy currently trails Rubio in several Florida polls.

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