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January 27, 2015

Ex-N.C. Legislator Pleads Guilty to $150,000 Nonprofit Theft

A former North Carolina state representative pleaded guilty Monday to a theft charge related to his oversight of a federally funded nonprofit, from which prosecutors said he drained $150,000, the Raleigh News & Observer and television station WRAL report. Stephen LaRoque faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he sentenced in May.

Mr. LaRoque was indicted in July 2012, shortly after losing his re-election bid to a Republican primary opponent. The allegations centered on the East Carolina Development Company., which manages U.S. Agriculture Department loans for rural businesses. He pleaded guilty to a single count of aiding and abetting theft concerning federal programs, in exchange for which additional charges were dismissed. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $300,000 to the nonprofit.