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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.

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