COPY-Tom Noe Trial - Opening Statements Begin

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A prosecutor has told jurors that coin dealer and Republican fundraiser Tom Noe (NOH'-ee) stole from the state to support a lifestyle he thought he deserved.

Noe is accused of helping himself to more than two (m) million dollars from a state investment in rare coins that he oversaw. He has pleaded not guilty.

During opening statements at Noe's trial in Toledo, Lucas County Prosecutor John Weglian (WEHG'-lee-uhn) said Noe was also deep in debt and needed money desperately to fend off customers who claimed he had ripped them off.

Defense attorney William Wilkinson argued that Noe's contract with the state allowed him to borrow from the rare coin fund. He says you can't steal something if you have permission to use it.