Fair
73°FFairFull Forecast

Lawmaker pleads not guilty to fraud charges

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 10:00 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois lawmaker has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that accuse him of fraudulently obtaining a $500,000 increase and a two-year extension on a line of credit from a Chicago bank.

During an arraignment in Chicago on Tuesday, attorneys entered the pleas for state Rep. LaShawn Ford, who's been indicted on bank fraud and other charges. Smith didn't make a statement in court.

Authorities contend the Chicago Democrat falsely said he intended to use the money from the failed ShoreBank for work related to his real-estate business. Instead, they allege, he put the money toward car loans and credit cards, as well as payments to a casino and for his 2006 campaign.

Ford has said he didn't break the law and looks forward to the truth being told.

National video



Reader Poll

An 82-year-old Sterling man recently parachuted from a plane for the first time. Would you ever skydive?
Yes, I've never done it but would try it
Yes, I've already skydived and enjoy it
No, I've never done it and don't want to
No, I've done it and don't want to again