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One News Now

Former N.C. Lawmaker, Stephen LaRoque Faces Additional Charges

By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
December 26, 2012

LaRoque

RALEIGH — A former Tar Heel lawmaker who resigned in July after being federally indicted for theft and money laundering is facing additional charges, according to the Associated Press.

Former Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston is now accused of filing false tax returns for 2009 and 2010. Prosecutors say in addition to channeling some $300,000 to a company he owned as a way to help family members, he also worked out a scheme to further benefit personally from a federal loan program that was designed to assist small businesses in rural areas.

The new charges, part of an update to the 72-page indictment handed down by the U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina on July 17, bring the total number of counts to 12. The original document detailed how LaRoque, 48, was paid nearly $2 million over the past 14 years via non-profits he operated. The agencies were set up to administer Department of Agriculture loans, and LaRoque’s attorney, Joe Cheshire, said LaRoque’s work led to “hundreds of jobs for North Carolinians who would otherwise have been unemployed.”

A Republican who had represented House District 10, Laroque has denied the charges. He isn’t expected to go to trial until at least mid-February.

The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, called for prayer for the former lawmaker when the charges were announced last summer.

“If Rep. LaRoque is not guilty of the charges against him, we should pray that he is cleared. If he is guilty, we should pray that God might do a great work in his heart and temper justice with mercy, ” he said.