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Former N.C. Congressman Heads To Prison

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BUTNER, N.C. — Former North Carolina congressman Frank Ballance officially became a federal prisoner on Friday.

Ballance turned himself in to federal authorities in Butner around 10 a.m. to start his four-year prison sentence. Ballance, a Democrat who represented the 1st Congressional District, reached a plea bargain last November in which he acknowledged conspiring to commit mail fraud and launder money.

Authorities say Ballance used money from the John A. Hyman Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization he operated to help poor people fight drug and alcohol abuse, for his own personal means.

He also allegedly used foundation money to give his son, state District Court Judge Garey Ballance, $20,000 toward a Lincoln Navigator luxury sport utility vehicle.

Garey Ballance pleaded guilty in April to a federal misdemeanor charge of failing to file an income tax return in 2000 and was sentenced to nine months in prison and fined $5,000. He has until Jan. 2 to turn himself in to prison authorities.

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