@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Former NC lawmaker guilty of fraud

Posted June 7, 2013

Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque, right, listens to defense attorney Joe Cheshire speak with reporters on Aug. 6, 2012, after LaRoque's first appearance in federal court on charges of misuse of funds and money laundering.

— A federal jury on Friday found former Rep. Stephen LaRoque guilty of fraud and misappropriation of funds.

The Kinston Republican administered a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan program for small-business development, but prosecutors say he directed the loan money to friends and family and might have used some for campaign expenses. They said he also lied on USDA documents and filed false tax returns.

LaRoque told jurors Tuesday that those loans were more like advances on money owed to him by his companies because often he didn't take all of his required salaries.

The jury convicted him on four counts each of misuse of funds, money laundering and fraud. He will be sentenced later.

“We always thought that this case was about stealing, pure and simple. The jury has now agreed," U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a statement.

LaRoque resigned his House seat last summer under pressure after his indictment.

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  • mewuvbb Jun 8, 8:38 p.m.

    I have also heard that there are a lot of misappropriated funds used in our school systems as well. I hope that there will be someone watching those books too in the future, as it has been going on a long time

  • Cock a doodle doo Jun 7, 9:28 p.m.

    Who needs loans for zambonis in Kinston NC? That's armed flag to begin with!?!

  • mfarmer1 Jun 7, 7:26 p.m.

    there are crooks in both republican and the democratic party.

  • outdoor592000 Jun 7, 6:01 p.m.

    Right about the lawyers, they always win with a paycheck.

  • outdoor592000 Jun 7, 5:55 p.m.

    Look, I am repub, but this is not what we are about. Dems and Repubs that break the law, should go to jail..........right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter which party we are talking about.

  • walterhogan812 Jun 7, 5:49 p.m.

    he was also head of tea party in Kinston NC

  • pirategirl342 Jun 7, 3:25 p.m.

    Former NC lawmaker guilty of fraud.........As soon as I read the headline, I said out loud to no one in particular "Ok, so what? How about report on some new or anything we don't already now" I know this is rhetorical, but don't most people especially business men and women get into state politics so they can line their pockets more than at present?

  • sillymee Jun 7, 3:24 p.m.

    Roque says it all.

  • jackflash123 Jun 7, 3:15 p.m.

    I'm glad he was a Republican NOT b/c I want to crow about it, but b/c I don't want to listen to the crowing from Republicans if he had been a Democrat.

    This is a bad thing all around, objectively speaking. This shouldn't be like sports, where someone has to win and someone has to lose. Outside of actual elections, the goal of politics ought to be for everyone to win. In one way, this gives one party an advantage over another, but in a larger sense, it's bad for everyone that this happened.

  • 42 Jun 7, 3:07 p.m.

    Tillis' right hand man is guilty of fraud? Can't be good for his Senate run. I wonder what his left hand is guilty of.

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