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FEC May Bill John Edwards $2.3 Million

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The campaign of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards may have to pay almost $2.3 million in penalties and primary matching funds following an audit of his 2008 White House bid.

The Federal Election Commission released the audit ahead of its Thursday meeting, when agency leaders are slated to vote on what penalties the former North Carolina Senator will be expected to pay.

If the audit's recommendations are approved, the campaign would owe the federal government most of the remaining $2.6 million it reported having in cash on hand at the end of June.

The biggest cost for Edwards' campaign would be more than $2.1 million in primary matching funds that the FEC found to be "in excess of the candidate's entitlement." The campaign also may have to pay $142,000 to the Treasury for 128 stale-dated checks.

In addition to these issues, the audit also found that the campaign misstated financial activity on reports and failed to itemize more than $4.4 million in loan payments.

The audit, first reported by the Bureau of National Affairs, is the latest in a series of issues that have cost the Edwards campaign more than $800,000 in legal fees.

The 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee is facing a criminal trial in October over accusations of other campaign finance violations in relation to an affair he had with Rielle Hunter, who briefly served as the campaign's videographer. The indictment states that Edwards used campaign cash to funnel almost $1 million to Hunter in order to conceal their extramarital affair. Edwards later admitted to the affair and said he fathered a daughter outside of his marriage.

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