Thursday, November 29, 2012

Second one this year: Illinois Democratic state legislator indicted

When news like this comes out, it's easy to understand why Illinois is generally considered one the worst run states in America. For the second time this year, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

And this story has a twist--involving ShoreBank, the failed bank with ties to the Obama administration.

From CBS 2 Chicago:
State Rep. La Shawn Ford has been indicted on federal bank fraud charges, accused of falsifying bank loans to get an additional $500,000 in credit for his real estate business, and then using the funds for personal and campaign expenses.

Ford, 40, has been charged with eight counts of bank fraud, and nine counts of submitting false information to a bank. The charges involve activity that allegedly occurred mostly before he first took office.

Ford has been in the Illinois House since 2007, and was re-elected to a new term earlier this month. He also operates Ford Desired Real Estate Inc., a commercial real estate firm based in Chicago.

According to federal prosecutors, Ford had multiple loans with ShoreBank, including a $1 million line of credit, which was to be used only to buy and rehab property for his real estate company. In May 2006, he obtained a $500,000 increase and two-year extension on that line of credit by submitting false tax returns that inflated his personal and business income, prosecutors alleged.
While reviewing ShoreBank documents, federal authorities discovered the shady deals involving Ford, who is a Democrat from Chicago's West Side.

Ford needs a lawyer
The other state house member indicted this year was Derrick Smith, another West Side Democrat. Smith was expelled by his colleagues this summer, but he remained on the fall ballot--and voters who only know how to select Democrats are sending him back to Springfield. It's easy to understand why Illinois is a national laughingstock.

The Ford indictment can be viewed here.

And finally, the Democrats, despite their proven inability to run Illinois, "earned" veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly on Election Day. How? By gerrymandering. Take a look at a map of the contorted 8th House District, which Ford represents.

Related post:

Chicago: Three election contests--three atrocious results

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