Hearing Scheduled In Stephen LaRoque Case

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A hearing is scheduled for September 12 in the case of Stephen LaRoque.

It will be held in Greenville.

A federal judge gave the former Kinston state lawmaker a new trial on two of twelve counts that he was convicted of earlier this summer due to juror misconduct.

In June, a federal jury in Greenville found LaRoque guilty on all 12 counts involving theft, fraud and money laundering allegations.

LaRoque faced up to 86 years in federal prison, but Judge Malcolm Howard ruled that he will be granted a new trial on counts 11 and 12 of the indictment.

Judge Howard granted the new trial because of juror misconduct. Court documents state a juror conducted internet research at home, which was a violation of the judge's instructions to the panel. The judge concluded the research of tax filing instructions and S corporations on the IRS website was only relevant to two counts. The motion for a new trial on all other counts was denied.

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 lawmaker 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.


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