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Ex-Congressman Reynolds & wife indicted for fraud

Reynolds November 7, 1996
Web posted at: 7:40 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Illinois Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds and his wife were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on a variety of fraud charges relating to personal and campaign finances.

The former Chicago lawmaker faces 16 felony counts returned by a grand jury in Chicago. His wife Marisol faces nine counts.

Reynolds, 44, resigned from Congress soon after he was convicted in August 1995 on charges of criminal sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography in a case stemming from his relationship with a 16-year-old campaign worker. Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison for those crimes, and is expected to be released from the East Moline Correctional Institution in early 1998.

He was first elected to Congress in 1992.

The Justice Department said the new charges involve a variety of offenses including misuse of campaign funds and lying to the Federal Election Commission.

Specifically, Mel Reynolds is named in one count of bank fraud, two counts of wire fraud, eight counts of making false statements on loan applications, one count of conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission, and four counts of making false statements to the FEC. Federal prosecutors allege both Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds tried to conceal from the FEC the way in which campaign contributions were spent.

The government says the couple directed various campaign workers to cash checks drawn on campaign accounts and to give the cash back to them. The Reynolds' are charged with conspiring to defraud the FEC during his 1990, 1992 and 1994 campaigns for Congress by impeding the commission and making false statements about campaign expenditures.

Reynolds is also charged with defrauding four banks by making false statements to obtain $150,000 in personal loans.


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