A former congressional candidate from Kansas was indicted Wednesday for allegedly using campaign contributions to fraudulently obtain a loan for a $1.2 million home, the Kansas City Star reported.
A federal grand jury charged former Navy fighter pilot Adam Taff with one count of wire fraud and one count of violating the Federal Election Campaign Act for allegedly using campaign funds to secure a mortgage on a Lake Quivira, Kan., home in January 2004, media reports said.
The indictment said Taff listed as personal assets nearly $312,000 from two campaign accounts to get the loan for the five-bedroom, 3,650-square-foot house, according to reports. Taff later returned the money, purportedly a down payment on the home, to his campaign, the indictment alleged.
“He took campaign funds and used the money for things other than the campaign – that is against the law,” Jim Cross, spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Kansas, told the Star. “Second, he provided false information to a lender to obtain a mortgage loan. That application was then faxed across state lines, which makes it a federal crime,” Cross told the Star.
Also indicted was John D. Myers, 48, of Leawood, on one count of wire fraud for helping to devise the plan to sell his house to Taff, reports said. Myers founded and was chairman of the Overland Park mortgage company that employed Taff at the time of the transaction, according to reports.
“Adam Taff has cooperated fully in this investigation, and he looks forward to having this matter resolved,” attorney James Eisenbrandt, who is representing Myers, told the Star.
J.R. Hobbs, who is representing Myers, told the Star he expected Myers to plead not guilty.
Taff’s indictment stunned political observers from Johnson County to Washington, according to the Star, including some who had come to admire the vigor he brought to two unsuccessful races for Congress, including the 2002 race he narrowly lost to U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore.
“I hurt for him,” former Kansas state Sen. Dick Bond of Overland Park told the Star. “It’s a big shock. It’s very painful for those of us who have respect for him and consider him a quality person.”
Taff, 40, was new to politics when he ran for Congress in 2002. A former commercial airline pilot who previously spent a decade as a Navy aviator, Taff drew his inspiration for public office from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, according to the Star.
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