Director of Government Reform
State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, of Illinois 8th District has become the most recent example of a steady stream of Illinois politicians caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times:
Ford, 40, of Chicago who also invests in Chicago real estate allegedly fraudulently obtained a $500,000 increase and a two-year extension on a line of credit from a failed bank called ShoreBank, making false statements to gain multiple advances, according to a federal indictment returned by a grand jury Thursday.
He was charged with eight counts of bank fraud and nine counts of submitting false information to the bank in a 17-count indictment.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $832,000, according to the news release.
Each count Ford faces carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and restitution is mandatory.
This tweet came in from the Illinois Opportunity Project shortly after the news broke:
IL needs a sign near the statehouse: "XX days since the last legislator indicted." trib.in/V8QhBX ILOpportunityProject (@ILOpportunity) November 29, 2012
Capitol Fax reported that Ford used these funds to pay at least in part for his 2006 campaign:
instead [Ford] used the funds to pay unrelated expenses, including, car loans, credit cards, other mortgages held at ShoreBank, payments to a casino in Hammond, Ind., and for his 2006 campaign for Illinois State Representative, the indictment alleges.
In March State Rep. Derrick Smith was charged with accepting a bribe of $7,000 in exchange for supporting a grant for a fictional day care operator in an undercover FBI sting. Smith was expelled from the legislature but was re-elected in November and is slated to be seated to the legislature again in January.
Stay tuned for further developments in both cases.