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Former State Lawmaker Guilty On All Counts; Faces Up To 86 Years In Prison

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A federal jury has found a former Kinston state lawmaker guilty of theft, fraud and money laundering charges.

Stephen LaRoque has been on trial in Greenville for nearly three weeks. The jury this morning found him guilty on all counts after deliberations that spanned three days.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said LaRoque scammed taxpayers to finance a lavish lifestyle that included $2.1 million in salary payments and $300,000 in interest-free personal loans used to buy a house, new cars, an ice-skating rink and a collection of jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs.

The one time Republican state representative testified during the trial that he did nothing wrong and attributed paperwork errors as mistakes on his part. He lost a re-election bid in the 2012 primary and months later was indicted by a federal grand jury.

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

LaRoque's attorney said his client was "stunned" by the verdict.

LaRoque faces up to 86 years in prison. He remains free on bond and will be sentenced September 10th.


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A federal jury has now completed its second day of deliberations for a former state lawmaker, accused of theft and fraud. No verdict has been returned in the lengthy trial.

Stephen LaRoque of Kinston has been on trial in Greenville for more than two weeks.

The one time Republican state representative spent most of Tuesday on the witness stand. He repeatedly attributed paperwork errors as mistakes on his part. He lost a re-election bid in the 2012 primary and months later was indicted by a federal grand jury.

The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges LaRoque scammed taxpayers to finance a lavish lifestyle that included $2.1 million in salary payments and $300,000 in interest-free personal loans used to buy a house, new cars, an ice-skating rink and a collection of jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs.

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

So far the jury has deliberated some 9-1/2 hours over a two day period without reaching a verdict.


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Stephen LaRoque is the first to take the stand in his own defense Tuesday.

LaRoque a former lawmaker is accused of theft, fraud and filing false tax returns. The former state representative from Kinston has been on trial for two weeks in Greenville federal court.

Today federal prosecutors ended their case against the Republican and his attorney asked that charges be dropped. Judge Malcolm Howard said he would reserve judgement on the motion and told both sides to be back in the courtroom Tuesday morning.

The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges LaRoque scammed taxpayers to finance a lavish lifestyle that included $2.1 million in salary payments and $300,000 in interest-free personal loans used to buy a house, new cars, an ice-skating rink and a collection of jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs.

Defense lawyers say they have three witnesses, one of those is LaRoque.


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