Noem returns doctor's donation after tax fraud conviction
SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem has returned $4,000 in campaign contributions from a man convicted of felony tax evasion.
A federal jury convicted Rapid City surgeon Edward Picardi after a three-week trial on 13 charges that he filtered millions of dollars of income through offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.
The media reports that Picardi and his wife gave Noem a combined $4,000 in the past two years and another $4,500 in 2010. The South Dakota Democratic Party called on Noem to return the money.
Noem campaign manager Tom Erickson says the campaign immediately returned the $4,000 after learning of Picardi's conviction. He says the $4,500 donated in the previous election cycle already was spent.
Noem is a Republican. Democrat Matt Varilek is trying to unseat her.