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Lawyer: Edwards knew money was for his benefit

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - The lawyer for a wealthy heiress who provided secret payments to a close aide of John Edwards has testified that the former presidential candidate conceded that the money had been given for his benefit.

Alex Forger said Friday that Edwards' then-lawyer Wade Smith told him in the fall of 2008 that the former candidate agreed that the $725,000 given by wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon had been provided for his benefit.

It wasn't clear from Forger's testimony at Edwards' criminal trial when Edwards learned about the secret payments to his aide Andrew Young.

Some of Mellon's money was used to hide Edwards' pregnant mistress. Whether Edwards had knowledge of the money is a key question in his prosecution on charges related to campaign finance corruption.

Edwards' current attorney has denied Edwards knew Young had gotten the money from Mellon or that it was being spent on the mistress.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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