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UPDATE: Lawyer in former Gov. Wilson indictment pleads guilty for donation to Democrats

Friday, April 13, 2012 | 4:26 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis attorney pleaded guilty Friday to misusing money from an insurance company to funnel contributions to the Missouri Democratic Party as part of a scheme that also involved a former governor.

Lawyer Edward Griesedieck III pleaded guilty in federal court a day after former Gov. Roger Wilson pleaded guilty to a similar misdemeanor charge.

Wilson and Griesedieck admitted to using money from Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co., where Wilson was CEO, to reimburse a $5,000 donation Griesedieck's law firm, Herzog Crebs, made to the Democratic Party in August 2009. An indictment released Thursday said the contribution was passed off as a payment for legal services from the insurance company to the law firm in October 2009.

The indictment said Wilson personally reimbursed the law firm for a subsequent $3,000 donation to the Democratic Party, after Griesedieck first attempted to bill the insurance company for the cost of the donation.

The indictment said both law firm donations to the Democratic Party were requested by Douglas Morgan, who was chairman of the board of directors for Missouri Employers Mutual. Morgan was indicted last year on unrelated allegations that he defrauded a bank in a casino deal, but he died in November before going to trial.

Wilson and Griesedieck are to be sentenced July 9. They face a maximum penalty of a year's imprisonment and a fine of $100,000, though probation remains a possibility.

The U.S. attorney's office said Griesedieck agreed to surrender his law license for 18 months as part of his plea agreement.

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