Continued from page 1

Prosecutors claim Mr. Whittemore met with the elected official in February 2007 and agreed to try to raise $150,000 for the person’s campaign committee.

Mr. Reid had become the Senate majority leader several weeks before, after Democrats won control of the chamber in 2006.

The following month, Mr. Whittemore solicited employees, family members and their spouses to make maximum campaign donations and reimbursed them with personal checks and wire transfers, according to the indictment.

On March 28, 2007, authorities allege, a Whittemore employee transmitted $138,000 in contributions to the elected official’s campaign committee. Two weeks later, the campaign committee “unknowingly filed false reports with the FEC stating that the conduits had made contributions, when in fact, Whittemore had made them,” prosecutors said.

The criminal investigation was revealed in the wake of lawsuits Mr. Whittemore and his former partners in his Wingfield Nevada Group Holding Co. filed against each other earlier this year.

In a civil suit filed in state court in Clark County, Thomas Seeno and Albert Seeno Jr., who now control the company, alleged Mr. Whittemore embezzled tens of millions of dollars to support a lavish lifestyle, buy homes, subsidize a research facility at the University of Nevada, Reno, and even sponsor a pro golfer.

Mr. Whittemore and his wife then sued the Seenos in federal court, accusing them of making death threats against their family; having ties to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and convicted felons; and forcing them through intimidation to turn over homes, cars, jewelry, money — even a Steinway piano.

Each side denies the allegations.