The attorney for indicted former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer told The Miami Herald/St. Pete Times that Greer kept Gov. Charlie Crist in the loop about starting his secret fundraising company Victory Strategies. Greer is charged with using Victory Strategies to siphon money from the party’s coffers. Crist, who left the Republican Party to run for U.S. Senate as an independent, adamantly denied he knew anything about the scheme.

Greer, meanwhile, is out on a $100,500 bail. And the anonymous big money Republican donor mentioned in the arrest affidavit who said that a cash-strapped Greer pleaded with him for financial assistance is identified in the story as Palm Beach businessman Harry Sargeant. Sargeant, a former party official, said he gave Greer $10,000 a month for more than 18 months because “he was a friend.”

Greer was a longtime Crist ally and the arrest is giving Crist’s political foes, both Republicans and Democrats, ample ammunition for attacks. Crist had earlier noted in a letter that he thought the U.S. Attorney’s Office should take over the Greer investigation rather than the statewide prosecutor, a division of Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office. McCollum is a Republican candidate for governor.

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