LaShawn Ford | Lawmaker pleads not guilty to fraud charges - New York News

Ill. lawmaker pleads not guilty to fraud charges

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A lawyer for indicted state Rep. LaShawn Ford says the bank fraud and other charges against the Chicago Democrat are unfounded.

Defense attorney Thomas Durkin says the charges had nothing to do with Ford's public office, and he's questioning the motives of authorities who brought the charges.

Ford pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. He didn't comment aside from thanking the dozens of supporters who cheered after he left the courtroom.

Prosecutors contend he fraudulently obtained a $500,000 increase and a 2-year extension on a line of credit from a Chicago bank. Authorities allege he used the money for personal expenses instead of putting it toward work related to his real-estate business.

Ford has represented Illinois' 8th House district on Chicago's West Side and several western suburbs since 2006.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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