Former Pennsylvania state treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty to two counts of extortion on Tuesday in charges relating to his failed run to become the Democratic candidate for governor last year.
McCord, 55, admitted to repeatedly trying to extort upwards of $25,000 from an unnamed Philadelphia law firm and $100,000 from a property management firm in western Pennsylvania that both did considerable business with the state.
He threatened to hurt their businesses through his position as state treasurer if they did not contribute the money to his campaign for governor in the spring of 2014, according to the prosecutors' account.
McCord entered the plea in the federal District Court in Harrisburg.
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Judge John Jones III released McCord, who lives in suburban Philadelphia, on his own recognizance.
McCord is due to be sentenced later this year, and faces up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, prosecutors say.