An Illinois state representative is in hot water after being accused of lying to a bank to receive a half million dollar extension on a line of credit. The rep is now facing at least one felony charge in the matter. He has pleaded not guilty to the accusations and is now awaiting trial. Prosecutors have stated the charges against him are not linked to his role as a state representative.
The indictment against him claims he received almost four hundred thousand dollars in advances from a line of credit that he was supposed to use to 'rehabilitate' several of his properties in the state. However, prosecutors believe he used a portion of the money on personal expenses. Some of those expenses include campaign costs, car loans and even payments to a casino.
He is also accused of falsifying tax returns in order to inflate his worth to receive an increase to his line of credit. However, he calls himself an honest person who happened to get tangled up in a failed bank. He also claims that bankers inspected his properties before awarding him the money and that all the required work on his property has been completed.
The state rep is also accused of using some of the money for gambling payments, an accusation he vehemently denies. However, he will face at least one felony charge for the accusations and will end up going to trial. A felony charge involving a huge amount of money like this could net the Illinois state rep a lengthy jail term if a criminal conviction is actually obtained. As such, he may wish to seek out knowledgeable help that could assist him in mounting a vigorous and relevant defense to fight the charges against him.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Rep. LaShawn Ford indicted on federal bank fraud charges," Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Annie Sweeney, Nov. 30, 2012