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LaShawn Ford Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud Charges

The Chicago Democrat hires prominent attorney to represent him.

State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford pled not guilty Dec. 11 to 17 counts of bank fraud and related charges, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The Chicago Democrat has been released on his own recognizance.

A status hearing for the attorneys in the case is set for 9:30 a.m., Jan. 11 before Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.

The 40-year-old Ford was indicted late last month in connection with allegedly trying to fraudulently obtain a $500,000 increase and a two-year extension on a line of credit from the failed ShoreBank.

He also allegedly tried to obtain multiple advances by making false statements about his intended use of the funds.

The 24-page indictment includes eight counts for bank fraud and nine for submitting false information.

A prominent attorney who had been with the division that investigates and prosecutes white collar and political corruption cases for the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed that he will represent Ford.

Thomas Durkin served as an assistant US Attorney under both Thomas P. Sullivan and Dan K. Webb from 1978 to 1984.

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