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Former legislator pleads guilty

5/29/2014

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

TOPEKA -- A former Kansas legislator pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to a single count of bank fraud involving a Colby bank, the U.S. Attorney's office said Wednesday.

Trent K. LeDoux, 40, Holton, originally was charged in March with three counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering.

In his plea, LeDoux admitted he applied for three loans totaling more than $465,000 from the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Colby, falsely representing that he was going to use the money to buy cattle that would serve as the collateral for the loans.

Instead, the announcement from the U.S. Attorney's office said, he used some of the money to pay off existing debts and to make contributions to his political campaign account.

The loans were apparently made in 2011 and 2012 when LeDoux was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, according to the indictment returned by a Topeka federal grand jury.

The indictment said LeDoux received three loans -- $106,600, $175,500 and $183,000 -- from the Colby bank to purchase cattle.

"In fact, he did not intend to use all the funds to buy cattle, but to pay off existing debts and to make contributions to his political account," according to a March news release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

The indictment didn't indicate why LeDoux decided to seek the cattle loans from the Colby bank.

He also maintained an account at the Farmer's State Bank in Holton and a political account at Denison State Bank.

Sentencing on the single bank fraud charge is set for Aug. 11. He faces the possibility of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

LeDoux received the money from the first loan in July 2011 in a cashier's check while money from the two remaining loans were wire transfers.

The two money laundering charges, dismissed as part of an apparent agreement, alleged LeDoux transferred $15,000 on Dec. 31, 2011, and $12,000 on Aug. 1, 2012, to his campaign account. That money came from the last two loans LeDoux received from the Colby bank.

Sentencing on the single bank fraud charge is set for Aug. 11. He faces the possibility of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million.