Lawmaker's trial postponed

Apr 2, 2014

The trial of an Illinois State Representative accused of bank fraud has been postponed. IPR'S Tony Arnold reports.

State Representative LaShawn Ford was charged with bank fraud in 2012. Federal prosecutors say the Democrat from Chicago’s West Side got a line of credit from the now-failed ShoreBank to rehab properties he owned. But instead allegedly used the money for things like car loans and his American Express account.

Ford’s defense attorney argues the representative had an ongoing relationship with ShoreBank, and there was an understanding he’d pay back the loans. ShoreBank prioritized investments in low-income neighborhoods. 

The FDIC sued five ShoreBank employees last year seeking 73 million dollars, claiming they disregarded the bank’s loan policy before it collapsed in 2010. Representative Ford is not mentioned by name in that lawsuit.

But Ford’s attorney says the representative’s trial should be postponed - because the two cases are related and have some overlap in witnesses and defendants.

A new trial date has not yet been set.