Written by The Chicago Defender
State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford has been charged with bank fraud.
Ford, 40, of Chicago — who also invests in Chicago real estate — allegedly fraudulently obtained a $500,000 increase and a two-year extension on a line of credit from a failed bank called ShoreBank, making false statements to gain multiple advances, according to a federal indictment returned by a grand jury Thursday.
Ford operated Ford Desired Real Estate, Inc., and also invested personally in real estate, got the loans to rehabilitate specific buildings, but instead used the funds to pay unrelated expenses, including, car loans, credit cards, mortgages, payments to a casino in Hammond, Ind., and for his 2006 campaign for Illinois State Representative, the indictment alleges.
The charges do not involve Ford's position as a state legislator after he was first elected in 2006, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Ford represents the 8th House District, which includes portions of the West Side and the west suburbs.
He was charged with eight counts of bank fraud and nine counts of submitting false information to the bank in a 17-count indictment.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $832,000, according to the news release.
Each count Ford faces carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and restitution is mandatory.