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Campaign Probe Target Returns to U.S.

<i> Associated Press</i>

Thai businesswoman Pauline Kanchanalak returned to the United States to fight charges she funneled at least $679,000 in foreign and corporate contributions to Democrats through straw donors, a Justice Department official said Tuesday.

She was expected to make an initial appearance today before a federal judge here, the official said on condition of anonymity. Kanchanalak, 47, was expected to assert her innocence. She was not in custody.

One of her lawyers, Erik L. Kitchen, has said she “will ultimately be vindicated.”

Alleging a family conspiracy from September 1992 through October 1996, the Justice Department obtained a 24-count indictment against Kanchanalak and her sister-in-law and business associate, Duangnet “Georgie” Kronenberg, 41, who also intends to fight the charges.

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