CHICAGO — State Rep. La Shawn Ford denied federal charges that he defrauded a bank so he could get a $500,000 credit increase in a statement on his website Thursday.
"I believe I am innocent of the charges brought against me today," said Ford (D-Chicago). "... I believe I did not break the law, and I look forward to the truth being told and justice being served."
Ford was indicted by a grand jury Thursday. The charges allege Ford told the bank he planned to use the credit increase to rehab properties on the West side, but he used it for personal expenses instead, the Tribune reported.
Part of the $373,500 in advances he received allegedly was used to pay off car loans, credit cards, mortgages, casino debts and campaign expenses, the Tribune reported.
Ford was elected as a representative of the 8th House District in 2006, a West Side district that includes portions of the Austin and Belmont Cragin neighborhoods.