Illinois State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D), who represents the state's 8th District in Chicago, denied on Thursday that he committed bank fraud as detailed in a 17-count federal indictment that was filed against him earlier in the day.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Ford called the indictment "ridiculous" and said he would not step down. "The prosecutors — they have a good writer, and they wrote a good story," Ford said. "I lived the story, and I’ll tell the story. I’m not a bank fraud, that’s for sure."
According to prosecutors, Ford borrowed funds to rehabilitate buildings and instead redirected them to pay off car loans, credit cards and mortgages, among other expenses. "I spent every dime I had in real estate," Ford told the newspaper. "I financed my own campaign. You don’t do that for over $200,000 when you know you’re a bank fraud or you know there’s something that could come back and bite you in the ass."