Another Illinois state lawmaker is in trouble with the Feds: State Rep. LaShawn Ford has reportedly been indicted on federal bank fraud charges.
Ford, a Chicago Democrat, allegedly fraudulently netted a $500,000 increase and a two-year extension on a line of credit from ShoreBank, reports the Sun-Times. The bank, which according to the Tribune primarily lent to South and West Side residents in Chicago, failed in 2010.
Prosecutors said Ford misled the bank, saying the money would be used to rehab properties in the city, reports the Tribune. Instead, Ford allegedly used the cash for "personal expenses" which apparently included gambling at the Hammond, Ind. casino and paying off car loans and credit cards, according to WLS.
Ford responded to the charges Thursday and said, according to the Tribune's Monique Garcia, "I believe I am innocent of the charges brought against me today. ... An indictment is an accusation, not a conviction that the law was broken."
The representative made his name in real estate and real estate investments, according to NBC Chicago, even opening the eponymous firm, Ford Desired Realty Inc.
In 2006, the Loyola graduate was elected to Illinois' 8th House District, winning reelection in 2008 and 2010.