SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Ford pleads not guilty as attorney hints at defense strategy

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012

* Indicted Rep. LaShawn Ford pled not guilty yesterday. His attorney hinted at the defense he’ll use

The Nov. 29 indictment alleges Ford obtained multiple advances by making false statements about his intended use of the bank funds. The indictment also alleges that Ford diverted bank funds toward personal use: for car loans, credit cards, other mortgages owed by ShoreBank, payments to a casino in Hammond, and his 2006 campaign for state rep.

[Tom Durkin] did not go into specifics of Ford’s defense, but contended federal prosecutors may be hinging their case on a mistake “on a financial form” submitted to the bank.

“These cases are usually about numbers put in a form and there are questions about whether banks relied on it or not,” Durkin said. “My point is that … when businesses and corporations submit loans, there is often a lot of mistakes made on numbers. And there are questions whether that was material the bank relied upon. I believe we are going to show that this bank was relying on his good character and his person.”

* Durkin also had some harsh words for prosecutors

“I think there should be questions raised as why at this stage of the game these charges would be brought five to six years later,” Durkin told reporters after Ford’s arraignment at the Dirksen Federal Building.

“These are garden variety bank fraud charges that have nothing whatsoever to do with his public office,” Durkin added, expressing puzzlement that his client is the only person to be linked with the bank’s failure.

“I am not aware of any other prosecutions coming out of that bank,” Durkin said. “Why the only person that is prosecuted is a popular African-American legislator. I don’t understand it.”

Interesting points.

* Several people showed up for the court proceeding

In an unusual scene, about 50 people cheered and clapped as Ford entered the downstairs lobby after his brief arraignment. The crowd surged around the 40-year-old West Side lawmaker. […]

As he was exiting the courthouse, Ford appeared visibly moved by the show of support, turning briefly to compose himself before he stood before the television cameras.

Among Ford’s supporters were the president of Christ the King High School, a Catholic priest, community activists and a 71-year man with gout leaning on a cane who took the bus to be there.

“I know he did nothing but good,” said West Side resident James Ruffin, 71, who has campaigned for Ford. “He’s always down there on the spot to help you out. I had to do something to support him.”

* And the Oak Park Wednesday Journal has given its readers three reasons to reserve judgement in the case

There are a large number of people on both the West Side and in Oak Park — the communities he represents in Springfield — who are standing with Ford in these first days since his indictment. These are people we know and whose judgment we respect.

The charges against him do not relate to his six years in office. Unlike most of the political thugs who get indicted and convicted around here, no one is accusing him of selling out his office for profit. These charges tie back to Ford’s days as a Realtor and home rehabber and how he handled bank funds.

We respect his body of work as a legislator. And, we’d suggest, given the quiet emanating from Springfield, that his colleagues there are willing to be patient for a fair hearing of his case. This reaction is in marked contrast to the near instant demands that fellow West Side legislator Derrick Smith be expelled from the House almost immediately after his indictment.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


13 Comments
  1. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    “…garden variety bank fraud charges….”

    well, I can tell you that I’m not participating in that kind of thing on my bank loans. sounds like he was seen gambling, someone took a look at his finances, and there goes the charges.


  2. - L Y O - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    “I think there should be questions raised as why at this stage of the game these charges would be brought five to six years later.”
    I know! Totally right! He was able to avoid detection for a REAL long time. Just let him go. He’s really super great at his job. And he’s really nice. And handsome. And his constituents and co-workers love him. And he drives a normal car not a flashy car. Let him go. Let him go and apologize.


  3. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    Is the argument that if you’re a good public official, it’s ok if you commit garden variety bank fraud?

    More seriously, it looks ilke the Obama Administration made a conscious decision in 2009 not to prosecute top officials of the big financial companies because they believed correctly or incorrectly that it would bring down the financial system.

    Was that decision wrong and should many more of the weasels who ran the banks have been prosecuted? In my view, yes.

    Does that mean that Ford should get a pass IF he committed bank fraud? Prosecution decisions are never entirely fair. All criminals aren’t caught. Prosecuting some folks who are in the public eye has some deterrent value.

    There are a lot of sometimes conflicting judgments involved in making prosecution decisions. Until we see the evidence of what Ford actually did, it’s too soon to have an opinion on whether the U.S. Attorney’s Office made the right call here.


  4. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 10:10 am:

    We have to wait and see where this goes. I am especially interested in potential witnesses.

    I really don’t know, but my gut tells me that bank lending officers and senior executives, who could be under Federal indictment for their own actions leading to the ShoreBank failure, are throwing their customers under the bus — and the Feds just selected a newsworthy one.


  5. - shore - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    How do they have time to do other kinds of criminals when elected Democrats keep getting arrested/investigated?


  6. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    Perhaps this is the first of a number of prosecutions of people believed to have defrauded ShoreBank. The ongoing post mortems of the banking collapse point to a substantial number of people borrowing money from banks for one stated purpose, using the proceeds for another and defaulting on the loans. Even if all the money was used as intended, Mr. Ford appears to have the means to be paying his loan back from other resources. If this is the case, all borrowers with the means to work on repaying their loans should be running around creating repayment plans.

    The other case is that he has ticked off someone who is connected and is being squeezed for that purpose, but that could not happen in Chicago - could it.


  7. - reformer - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    It’s remarkable the favorable coverage he has gotten. I can’t remember the last time someone under federal indictment got so many kudos. Let me add my kudos.

    This contrasts with the media excoriation of officials — take Joe Berrios for example — who have never been indicted.


  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    On the other hand, Tom Durkin frequently defends cases by attempting to try the government when he knows his client is guilty. (So maybe we shouldn’t reserve judgment?)


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    “These cases are usually about numbers put in a form and there are questions about whether banks relied on it or not,” Durkin said. “My point is that … when businesses and corporations submit loans, there is often a lot of mistakes made on numbers. And there are questions whether that was material the bank relied upon.”

    Back in those days, banks and mortgage brokers were combing real estate records to make cold-call and direct mail appeals for refinancing.

    They were going for volume; they wanted to originate as many loans as possible, collect the origination fees and then sell them off to the Wise Men security bundlers.

    I refinanced my mortgage once, and the loan officer begged me to add $50,000 to the estimated value of my home and take a portion of it in equity. I never wanted to take out any equity; just a lower rate.

    When I closed, the bank sent some 21-year-old over to my house, at night, to sign the documents. I’d left my wallet at work and had no ID. She let me use my public swimming pool pass as ID to refinance.

    I wasn’t attempting to defraud anyone, but you know what? The banks sure would have loved for me to put down all sorts of BS on the forms to make the loan.

    They weren’t going to hold the paper, anyway, and as long as values continued to climb, who cared.


  10. - Frank - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 11:33 am:

    There are a couple of things at play here. First, Ford is pretty popular among his fellow legislators and among activists on the West Side. Sometimes, being a nice guy buys you the benefit of doubt.

    Second, there seems to be some legitimate questions about selective prosecution. Ford’s defense attorney did not articulate it well, but c’mon, there’s no doubt ShoreBank floated hundreds and maybe thousands of loosey-goosey loans like the one they gave Ford. In the easy-money/easy-credit days before 2008 they gave loans to anyone who could see over the counter at their branch office. And plenty of developers, real estate brokers, and rehab guys submitted paperwork with inflated reports of self-worth and pumped up appraisals… yet Ford is the only ShoreBank lendee to get indicted? Not to mention, as Carol Marin pointed out in a recent column, there is a long line of Wall Street bankers and brokers who did exactly what Ford is accused of doing, only on a much grander scale (billions instead of thousands of dollars in fraud,) but none of them are heading to prison.

    Don’t get me wrong, if Ford broke the law or filed deceptive paperwork he has to pay the price. (Why not go after him and others in civil court to make them repay federally backed loans that defaulted?) It’s just that the federal law enforcement has earned our cynicism when it comes to how they’ve policed financial misconduct the last few years.


  11. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 11:48 am:

    As someone who is familiar with LaShawn and works in bank fraud, these charges are being brought only because as a legislator he had a target on his back because it makes good press for the US Attorney’s office. If he were not a public figure, this would have never happened. The only action that may have been taken would have been the Bank may have pursued him civilly for willful misrepresentation - only if he did not pay them back.

    My guess would be that the reason this came up now is the Feds realized he is a politically exposed person and looked back to see if there was any suspicious activity reports filed by Shorebank on LaShawn in the past, or looked closer into his files as they too are political.

    My guess would be he filed amended tax returns after obtaining the line of credit, did not update the bank, and got careless handling personal and business funds. It sounds like he paid the Bank back. There is far more substantial bank fraud reported daily the US Attorney’s office should be pursuing - but instead they waste time, resources, and money on this. Regardless of the outcome, his career as a real estate investor will be impacted as he will have a hard time ever obtaining a loan again.


  12. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    As a follow up to the Anon comment above, “These cases are usually about numbers put in a form and there are questions about whether banks relied on it or not,” Durkin said. “My point is that … when businesses and corporations submit loans, there is often a lot of mistakes made on numbers. And there are questions whether that was material the bank relied upon.”

    If ShoreBank’s loan proposal for this line of credit contains representations LaShawn was well known, trusted, and had a strong banking history with senior management - I see it being extremely difficult to prove any misrepresentation made on a form was material the bank relied upon when the loan committee approved the loan.


  13. - Former Program Specialist - Wednesday, Dec 12, 12 @ 11:03 pm:

    Indicting Ford is going to discourage business people from running for public office. A reasonable person is not going to want to go through life with a target on their back. Do we really want a legislature without people who have had to make payroll, done a business deal, built a business from scratch, etc?

    There is also a certain unfairness to it. What happened to the people who ran the patronage/contribution scheme that Mary Lee Leahy successfully fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court? Today high ranking members of then Gov. Thompson’s administration from 1883 are Federal judges (two of them…including the one who oversaw the Blago and Cellini trials) and the retired head of one of Chicago’s largest law firms (Thompson himself).


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Question of the day
* Today's numbers are grim, but slightly hopeful
* One way or the other, the bill has to be paid
* Tax issues are bipartisan because they work
* Adventures in tracking
* Thompson says namesake building "looks like a scrap heap"
* Rauner takes page from Oberweis playbook
* Today's must-read
* Fanning the flames
* *** UPDATED x2 - Quinn responds to Rauner - Rauner responds *** The assault weapons front opens wider
* Teh crazy spreads
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Moto X gets a back-to-school discount
        * How to make a bootable OS X 10.10 Yosemite install drive
        * Where’s the Sense camera for the GPe One M8?
        * Fully functional 4.7-inch iPhone 6 clone shown on video
        * Verizon starts experimenting with new approach to bloatware
        * Lumia 530 vs Android competitors shown on promo videos
        * LG G3 with Verizon lets you remove carrier “bloatware”

        * Report: Netflix has 4.5 million subscribers in the U.K., 3 million in Canada
        * Lenovo K920 Teased For 5th August Announcement
        * Moto 360 Smartwatch Will Come With Ambient Light Sensor
        * Possible Samsung Gear VR App Screenshots Surface
        * The Big Red Desktop
        * Verizon Allowing Bloatware Uninstallation For The LG G3
        * Apple’s iPhone Reportedly Helps Boost Asian Economies

        * Zach Putnam goes on the 15-day DL; Andre Rienzo recalled from Charl...
        * Few could damage a pitch like 'Big Hurt'
        * Reading Room: Tigers pony up for closer by trading for Joakim Soria
        * Royals 2, White Sox 1: Series ends with a thud
        * After pitching duel, mishap at plate stings Sox
        * After pitching duel, catching error stings Sox
        * Sox turn to Noesi to open four-game set in Minnesota


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Quinn disagrees with aides who tied Maywood may.....
        * Ethics watchdog asks for voice in Quinn politic.....
        * Business, labor groups push for fracking rules .....


        * Feds release data on states getting immigrant kids
        * GOP Rauner's campaign ad used made-up headlines
        * Teen collapses at Gov. Quinn campaign event
        * U of I boosts arena budget, gives Groce a raise
        * Quinn: Rauner ad shows 'pattern of dishonesty'
        * Jobless rates fall in all Illinois metro areas
        * Quinn backs county ballot measure on gun laws
        * Coalition ways state must move faster on fracking
        * Immigration detainers down in McLean County
        * Man held in 1992 strangling death of Illinois teen

        * Business, labor: Speed up Illinois’ fracking rules
        * Teen collapses at Quinn campaign event
        * Quinn to OK marijuana use for children with epilepsy
        * Coalition: State must move faster on fracking
        * Illinois law a boost to ex-offenders seeking jobs
        * Statehouse Insider: Details, details. Rauner finally has details
        * 'Headlines' in Rauner campaign ad don't match up
        * Lawyers will push to speed up pension reform ruling
        * Libertarian, Green Party politicians seeing blocks by established parties
        * S&P drops Illinois' credit rating to 'negative'

        * Obama says tax law must change to stop 'corporate deserters'
        * Obama urges end to tax loophole: 'I don't care if it's legal, it's wrong'
        * Dunkin' Donuts now pushing cashiers to 'upsell' in afternoons
        * Don't tell anybody about this story on HFT power jump trading
        * Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions


        * New fuel isn’t right mix for Chicago
        * Los Angeles man arrested in 1992 murder of Skokie teen
        * Cops : Teen gang member fired ‘without care,’ hit girl at sleepover
        * Cops: Gang member fired ‘without care,’ hit girl at sleepover
        * Chicago’s good guys can help turn the tide
        * Prosecutor: Man argued with prep athlete before having him killed
        * Man arrested in 1992 murder of Skokie teen, mother of victim says
        * Deacon kisses girl, gives her copy of the Kama Sutra: prosecutors
        * Track coach at Simeon faces sexual assault charges involving students
        * Super PAC backing Emanuel raises $350,000 more in just one day


        * Emanuel sidesteps fairness question on suspicious red light camera tickets
        * Teen charged in Shamiya Adams' slaying
        * First Lady Michelle Obama raises money for Democrats in Chicago
        * Arlington Heights woman drowns in Wisconsin saving 3 boys
        * Man injured during team-building drill: lawsuit
        * Mom loses custody case involving church with naked ritual
        * Man charged in slaying of Gary police officer
        * Missing Palatine man found in California
        * 2 shot in North, South Side attacks
        * Quinn hits Rauner on gun safety


        * Inspector General Discloses Political Hiring Investigation
        * Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55
        * Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long
        * Business, Labor Leaders Urge Quinn Administration To Finish Fracking Rules
        * Pullman to get an indoor sports facility
        * Board of Education approves "stop-gap" budget for 2015
        * After Water: Science, art and journalism around climate change
        * Illinois' Credit Prognosis: Negative
        * Questions raised about Daley's health
        * Losing school librarians in Chicago Public Schools


        * Business, labor: Speed up Illinois’ fracking rules
        * Teen collapses at Quinn campaign event
        * GOP Rauner's campaign ad used made-up headlines
        * Lawyers will push to speed up pension reform ruling
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Stocks-Smith considers another run for mayor
        * GROW-IL Coalition: Illinois’ foot-dragging means lost dollars from fracking
        * Eugene Robinson: The downside of giving weapons
        * George Will: Goldwater 2.0
        * S&P drops Illinois' credit rating to 'negative'
        * Former governor Thompson: Namesake building 'a scrap heap'


        * Small business group backs GOP's Bost
        * Insurers owe more than $8M in refunds in Illinois
        * SportsTalk 7-24-14
        * Illinois American Water expanding corporate office
        * Busy library will temporarily close, renovate during "slow time" this August
        * Bettendorf library renovations begin during 'slow time' in August
        * Belleville man charged with restraining wife, spraying house with lighter fluid
        * Politics Notebook: Small business group backs Bost
        * SIU reorganizes East St. Louis Center, approves renovation contracts
        * Keflezighi returns to Bix as American hero


        * McHenry man charged with murder
        * U.S. weighs refugee status for youth from Honduras
        * Wreckage of Air Algerie jet found in Mail
        * Arlington Hts. mom dies saving boy in Wisconsin lake
        * Elgin agrees to lower rent as casino talks of adding entertainment venue

        * Congressman Dan Lipinski to host 3 events ...
        * House passes Lipinski bill for Herbie John...
        * Renaming of Mount Greenwood post office in...
        * Rep. Lipinski's Bill Improving Internation...
        * Rep. Lipinski Reacts to House Passing Bill...
        * Rep. Lipinski Announces $206428 Grant for ...
        * Rep. Lipinski's Bill Renaming Mount Greenw...
        * Immigration reform rally - WGNtv.com
        * Lipinski Congratulates the Third District'...
        * Measure to permanently prohibit internet t...

        * Parts of Paul Ryan's Poverty Plan Even a L......
        * Parts of Paul Ryan's Poverty Plan Even a L......
        * The Killeen Daily Herald...
        * The Killeen Daily Herald...
        * The Killeen Daily Herald...

        * White House Faces Broad Resistance on Bord......
        * Hobby Lobby, Obamacare battle continues, n......

        * Rubio: Same-Sex Marriage Foes Face 'Intolerance'
        * House, Senate Advance Competing Border Proposals
        * Obama Wants Limits on U.S. Company Mergers Abroad
        * Quinn Backs County Ballot Measure On Gun Laws
        * Chicago Board Of Ed Approves Budget, Debate Over School Funding Rages On
        * Chicagoans Push Back Against Walgreens' Potential Tax Inversion (VIDEO)
        * Chicago Muslims Threaten Violence Against Jews Over Gaza
        * Senger Campaign Launches New Web Video
        * CPS Supports Plan To House Academic Program In Closed School
        * Proposed Niles Gun Store By Schools Approved By Village Trustees


        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Improve Charter School Fairness and Accountability - New Law Makes Lottery Process Transparent and Helps Prevent Conflicts of Interest
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Help Combat Flooding in Illinois - Oak Lawn to Receive $12.7 Million in Stormwater Assistance as Part of New Law’s Expansion of Clean Water Initiative
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Cook County Board’s Additional Advisory Referendums - Cook County Voters Asked to Voice Their Opinions on Gun Safety and Mental Health Care on November Ballot
        * Governor Quinn Signs $1.1 Billion Capital Construction Bill - Shovel Ready Projects Will Create Thousands of Jobs and Drive Economic Growth
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Strengthen Ethics Provisions in County Government - Law Helps Increase Accountability for Public Officials in Illinois’ Collar Counties




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller